In January 2013, celebrated restaurateur Ken Friendman and chef April Bloomfield made a commitment that had some San Francisco locals clucking in disapproval: a complete renovation of the city's most beloved watering hole: Tosca Cafe. Granted, the buyout saved Tosca from being possibly sold or even demolished, but many worried the essence of the bar might get misplaced in the transition.
However, with the blessing of revered owner Jeannette Etheredge, the team proceeded and locals held their breath to see what would happen. Now, the bar has opened and even added a world-class restaurant. The reviews have been stellar.The new Tosca Cafe — Photo courtesy of Tosca Cafe
What makes Tosca such a necessary nightlife stop is its genuine eclectic mix of all of San Francisco society. Many bars and nightclubs claim they have this mix, but Tosca really delivers, with everyone from the old school bar flies to uber-hipster techies to the occasional local and national celebrity.
If you only have time for one drink, make it the house cappucino, which is actually a coffee-free drink with brandy, bourbon and vanilla syrup that bartender Isaac Shumway mixes to perfection every time. This sweet concoction should put you in the mood to punch in some classic arias available on the glowing jukebox, a necessary holdover from the previous incarnation of the bar.
Once the cappucinos and arias get flowing, the rest of the night is up to you and your imagination.Tosca Cafe looks different, but offers the same genuine mix of society — Photo courtesy of Tosca Cafe