The Bullitt/Tonic/Lightning/ Mayhem team of Duncan Ley and Benjamin Bleiman can not be stopped. After taking over their sixth bar last fall, Soda Popinski’s (1548 California at Polk), we now see them working on a seventh project, via the liquor licenses. The working name is Wild Hare, and it’s heading for the Solstice Lounge space at 2801 California Street (at Divisadero). They’re working with another partner here, Mark DeVito, and they will likely follow their tried and true formula of moving in, doing a little remodeling, adding some Fernet on tap, and welcoming in a new neighborhood crowd. It’s unclear when Soltice may close, but likely after the license transfers. And while this is their seventh project to date, it will really be their sixth full-time neighborhood bar — Rebel transitioned to being more of an event venue in the fall, and now the bar is only open on nights when there are shows or events, like Heklina’s ongoing drag version of Sex & the City.*
Update: Ley confirms for Grub Street that Solstice will close within six to eight weeks, or whenever the ABC transfers the liquor license. And because the existing bar is so "classic," he says they won’t do much in the way of remodeling, but will repaint and reopen quickly as Wild Hare, with a similar comfort-food menu to Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem and Bullitt.
* This post has been corrected to show that Rebel has not entirely closed and the name still exists for the venue, and that Ley and Bleiman continue to hold the lease on the space.