We broke the news last week about Driftwood, a new cocktail bar coming to fill the space currently occupied by Kok Bar (1225 Folsom Street), but formerly known as infamous leather bar My Place, and before that, The Ramrod. Today we spoke with new owner Christopher Milstead, who along with partner Shawn Magee (owner of Amnesia), are planning to open a laid back, mixed, cocktail lounge with a cozy vibe, after a substantial makeover. "It’s not going to remind anyone of My Place," he assures us.
The name, it turns out, comes out of Milstead and Magee’s shared love of surfing. "We’ve known each other through surfing going back about twelve years now," Milstead says. "So the name felt right." The sale is just about complete and the design is still being nailed down, but most of the changes he said will be cosmetic, with the possibility of a fireplace in back.
As for the vibe, he says they want it to be welcoming to everyone, gay and straight, and just a place to hang out and get a good drink. "Shawn will say that he’s the gayest straight guy you’ll ever meet and I’m the straightest gay guy you’ll ever meet, so if that gives you an idea…"
Timing-wise, they’re hoping to have keys in hand by the end of the month, which means Kok will likely close by early March. The plan is then to remodel for three months or less, and hopefully open as Driftwood by early summer.
The ghosts of leather daddies past, we imagine, will only make noise in the wee hours of the morning, after last call.