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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Alt Foodie Trend No. 8: Restaurants Sporting Wood

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Now till Dec. 31, SFoodie is counting down the city's top alternative food and restaurant trends of 2009 -- the ones you won't be reading about in the Chron.

See also:

No. 9: Street-Food Busts

No. 10: Porn Star Chefs

click to enlarge The woody majesty of Rickhouse in the FiDi. - WALLACE.CHANE/FLICKR
  • wallace.chane/Flickr
  • The woody majesty of Rickhouse in the FiDi.
S.F. Alt Foodie Trend No. 8: Splinter Group

Boards from old barns, water tank shells -- weathered, splintery wood was among the most prized materials for bar and restaurant interiors in 2009. From Outerlands to Ironside, we apparently didn't feel comfortable in a place this year if it didn't look like Hagrid's cottage.

click to enlarge Outerlands' driftwood vortex. - JOHNEFITZGERALD/FLICKR
  • johnefitzgerald/Flickr
  • Outerlands' driftwood vortex.
Here's how we put it back in October:
Horizontal planks, vertical boards, new wood, reclaimed lumber. Sanded and varnished or, more often, left gray and raw, bristling like three-day stubble. Is it the design equivalent of the sandwich and the beer, of thrift-store flannel and the untrimmed, pube-scraggle beard?

Call this new anti-paneling a signifier of anti-artifice, the slightly greasy bottle of A1 on the table that lets you know what you're about to order -- though it might set you back $30 per entrée -- is seriously real.

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