The former Soda Popinski's space on Nob Hill is coming back alive this weekend, and it's going to be a new miniature club and bar called Zhuzh, hearkening back to a previous era when SF bars often hosted small-scale dance parties.

The team behind Polk Street bar Macondray has retooled the former Soda Popinski's at 1548 California Street into a more lushly lit, swanky space, heavy on the jewel tones. And Zhuzh is now set to open on Friday, March 15, as Eater reports, complete with a little pink DJ booth in back where DJs will spin nightly — and on weekend days for liquid brunch.

The sound should be pretty sweet, coming from a new Italian sound system from RCF, and drinks should be pretty quick and easy to get — an important feature in this town. There are just six cocktails on tap on the menu, ranging in styles but tending toward the fruity. Examples include the very green Genmaicha Matchatini, with vodka, oat milk, and genmaicha tea; and the Paradise Garage, with rum, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, and passionfruit. There's also the gin-based Fun-Damental!, with kiwi and cardamom, served over shaved ice.

The name, "zhuzh," which has multiple spellings, can be a decorating or styling term, but it's also a word used in hospitality — as in, "go zhuzh that table," as Eater explains.

Co-owner Aaron Paul tells Eater that he was inspired to create a space like the small dance bars he would stumble upon in Europe in his youth.

"Everything dance-wise is trending toward ticketed events and big-name DJs," Paul tells Eater. "But when I moved to the city it was a different energy. You could go to little bars, which were music-centered, and let loose in the afternoon."

Those afternoons will start at 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday, with Zhuzh open until 2 a.m. On weekdays, the place opens at 4 pm, including on Mondays to give the bar and restaurant industry crowd a place to party.

As for Soda Popinski's, it was among the last vestiges of the formerly prolific Tonic Nightlife Group, which at one point owned three bars in that neighborhood alone — including Bullitt and Tonic. Briefly, in the summer of 2023, Soda Popinski's reopened as California Jack's, but that was short-lived.

Teeth, on Mission Street, is now the only bar left in the group.

Zhuzh Bar - 1548 California Street - Opening Friday March 15 - Hours will be 4 pm to 2 am Monday to Friday, and 2 pm to 2 am Saturday and Sunday