The restaurant known as B3, or B-Cubed, or B3 (1152 Valencia) is morphing once more this week, and one of the original partners is helping to reopen it as a wine-tasting facility that will double as a pop-up venue for chefs. The new, more web-searchable name, Winemakers’ Speakeasy, goes live on Friday, with a "farewell" party for B3 on Thursday. John Prudenti, a.k.a. Johnny Gato, who backed away from B3 in May after his original "winemakers’ speakeasy" concept was nixed by others involved, writes to Grub Street with the news of the switch and the reboot concept, which may be the same "top-secret" project he mentioned to us earlier.
"It’ll be unlike the other wine tasting facilities in SF, i.e. Winery Collective or Press Club; we aren’t tied to any wineries, so we can mix it up all we want," he says. The wineries showcased will be tend to be small producers from the Bay Area and beyond, with some featured wines having been produced in tiny quantities of 25 cases or less.
The revised daily menu has dropped the burger component entirely in favor of a very simple bill of fare, with a few wine-friendly appetizers, a meat plate, and the like. The new management, which includes Prudenti, takes over this Friday. They’ve put together a mocked up calendar of events under the moniker Chefs’ Playground, which should fill in with more stuff soon.
The rotating pop-up thing seems to be kind of catching on, with places like Coffee Bar and The Corner finding some success with the concept. And if the place can succeed in drawing Heart-like crowds for wine, then it just might work here. Especially with the more easily searchable name.