We were able to take a quick tour of the space recently, as artist Nikolas Weinstein was putting finishing touches on enormous glass skylight installation pieces that diffuse light with jellyfish-tentacle glass tubes. The restaurant looked mostly put together, with all major components in place. The design of the space is a remarkable juxtaposition of industrial and natural elements that creates the sensation of being outdoors while being inside.The service bar and coffee station occupy a prominent location, making the restaurant's shiny new Slayer espresso machine a notable centerpiece. Daytime food with serious coffee service will follow soon after the opening, but no set date is in place. Vogler described the spirits program as being built "with purpose and vision from people who are celebrating the land they farm." It will be impressive to say the least. Bar Agricole is working with small distilleries to fashion unique products for the bar, such as biodynamic vodka, curaçao and pisco from Marion Farms in California's San Joaquin Valley.
A lot of comparisons have been drawn with Chez Panisse for Bar Agricole's meticulous sourcing of cocktail components, and the lengths of experimentation it's gone through for each drink. "We're simply trying to remain open to aspects of making a drink that might make a difference once you receive it in a glass," says Johnson. "Whether our guests can tell the difference is not for us to say, but it's rejuvenating to wonder if a different style of ice or dilution or technique might have a positive effect, and that keeps us open to the possibility."
Camper English over at Alcademics got the bar roster:
• Ben Krupp (Camino, Slanted Door)
• Rosa Lynley (Farallon, Slanted Door)
• Eric Johnson (Eastside West, Bourbon and Branch, Delarosa, Beretta, Heaven's Dog)
• Craig Lane (Farallon, Heaven's Dog, Slanted Door)
• Thad Vogler (Slanted Door, Bourbon and Branch, Beretta, Camino, Farallon, Jardinière, Bardessano, Heaven's Dog)
Opening Monday, Aug. 16:
Bar Agricole: 355 11th St. (at Folsom), 355-9400; plans call for opening daily, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.