Magnolia Pub & Brewery remodels (behind closed doors)

May 12th, 2008 | Posted by Real Beer

Magnolia Pub & Brewery in San Francisco will be closed until next Wednesday.

Owner Dave McLean sent this message to the pub’s e-mail newsletter subscribers on Sunday:

At long last, after a seemingly endless spring of preparation and planning, we’re closing tonight after dinner for nine days of remodeling. An incredibly talented team of artisans and craftsmen will show up tomorrow morning and dive headfirst into a variety of projects to make Magnolia look and feel better than ever. Some parts of this process have been underway for weeks and are just awaiting final installation, like the new bar and table tops built from wood salvaged from the original Levi Strauss building. Others, like extensive painting and restroom tiling, require a closed and quiet pub to commence. And a few projects will continue on over the next two months.

Meanwhile, Brandon and crew are putting the finishing touches on the new menu, which will be ready to go for the re-opening. If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve been running with an interim menu for the past six weeks while behind-the-scenes work on the fully-realized version pushes on toward our longstanding gastropub vision. The new menu will be full of beer-friendly snacks. charcuterie, and re-invented classics like our local catch & chips or a fun riff on shepherds pie. Brandon has reached out to the producers whose philosophy aligns most closely with our own, bringing Marin Sun, Cattail Creek, Devils Gulch, Wolf Ranch, Liberty and other farms into Magnolia for the first time.

The menu has never felt more seasonal, nor more full of delightful hooks for food and beer pairing. Even the Prather Ranch hamburger has improved in recent weeks with the new bun from Cake Box Bakery that fits it like a glove. The most exciting addition, however, is the unveiling of our new sausage program(!), with a selection of five different house-made sausages (including a veggie one). These sausages will change with some degree of regularity and can be had on their own or with a choice of any two of our new seasonal sides.

The sausage program is the first step toward our goal of being a neighborhood gastropub that celebrates nose-to-tail and farm-to-table cooking alongside our artisan beer making, inextricably linked the way we think it might have been in the great pubs of the past. We’ve been working toward this for over a decade and now that we’re here, we have to give you a newly refreshed space in which to enjoy it. As we hopefully hit our stride with these ambitious but necessary changes, look for more signs of our commitments to sustainability, seasonality, local sourcing, traditional butchery, farm-fresh produce, house-made desserts (thanks, Jenna), and more.

In the meantime, behind the papered windows, Mike, Oliver, Howie, Greg, Ray, Chris, Martin, Kevin, Devin, Neil, Ben, Brandon, Dean, and I, along with an enthusiastic group of assistants and volunteers, will be putting in long hours to make Magnolia as beautiful, comfortable, and cool as we possible can.

Come see how it all turns out on Wednesday, May 21st, when we will re-open for dinner.

In the meantime, we’ll try to keep you posted on our progress as best we can via our blog, at magnoliapub.blogspot.com, and maybe even with a twitter or two, at twitter.com/magnoliapub. And if you’ve got a thirst for Proving Ground or one of our other beers, Alembic (1725 Haight @ Cole) will be serving Magnolia beer from all ten of its taps during the downtime (along with the usual array of cocktails, spirits, bottled beer, wine, sake, and small plates).

Find out what McLean is writing about when he mentions the “path to a better pub.”

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