Two of the final, higher-profile openings of the year happen to rhyme: Haven and Maven. Come the first weeks of December, that’s bound to get confusing. As for Maven, the cocktail- and wine-pairing concept moving in on the former RNM digs (598 Haight Street) we first heard about two months back, Haighteration talks today with owners Jay Bordeleau and David Kurtz about what they have planned, including a gridded menu with ten rows each of cocktails, food, wine, and beer, meant to show diners what pairs best with what.
The main pairing menu is pretty concise, food-wise, with six small plates, two large plates, a cheese plate, and a dessert — but they’re not yet ready to reveal it all to the press. On the back of the menu will be a selection of other, unpaired bar bites, like a burger and such. And the team insists the pairings are just suggestions, and nothing’s going to be forced on you. “The best pairing is eating whatever you want with whatever you want to drink,” they say.
As for the décor, they’re nixing the dark shades and chain-mail curtains in favor of a cleaner, more open look, with redwood slabs and several communal tables. Also, they’re trying to sell the “giant tangle of a chandelier” on Craigslist, if anyone’s interested.
The last hurdle that Bordeleau and Kurtz face is getting approval to extend the hours for the place, which was formerly a restaurant, to 1:45 a.m. like a normal bar. There’s been some neighborhood kerfuffle over this, despite the fact that Maven will surely create less loud-mouth, spill-out crowds than every other bar on the adjacent blocks of Haight Street. But we wish them luck convincing the NIMBYs of this.
As of now, the ETA is early to mid-December, if all goes well.
The Lowdown on Maven [Haighteration]
Earlier: RNM to Become Maven, a Cocktail- and Wine-Pairing Restuarant [Updated]