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Monday, April 16, 2012

Brian Felly Makes it Big, as in "Big," the New Bar without a Menu

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge brian_pic.jpg

There are bars in San Francisco known for certain drinks on their menus, like the Irish Coffees at the Buena Vista Café or Margaritas at Tommy's Mexican, but now we have a bar known for having no menu at all. Opening this Thursday is Big, from the team behind Jones and run by barman Brian Felly, a place where every drink is tailored to suit your mood. Looking for something gin-based and tall? Tequila with something smoky? Or simply something strong and whiskey-based? Felly has just what you need.

At the second annual SF Weekly Drink cocktail competition, Felly impressed the judges with his winning drink, called Petate (Zacapa Rum, charred pineapple puree, black pepper, lemon, basil, Carpano Antica Vermouth), and the same kind of creativity will make its way into his drinks, like a smoked-gin-and-olive house specialty. The small space holds up to 25 people at a time and is walk-in only, with a speakeasy vibe that includes house rules that they concisely sum-up as "Really, just don't fuck around."

The small size allows the bartenders to get creative in a way that high volume and large scale just don't allow for. With a focus on seasonality, custom, and high quality spirits, the drinks will run in the range of $15 and up. Felly told SFoodie that "I use classic recipes as a starting point for what I hope will become an original cocktail."

An entertaining host and talented bartender, Brian Felly cut his teeth bartending in Albuquerque, N.M., making his way to San Francisco seven years ago. "I got into bartending simply for the cash, but soon found out that I really enjoyed the interaction with the customers," explained Felly. "The drinks are just a way to make their experience better, and a way for me to be creative."

Big, 761 Post (at Leavenworth)
Open Thu.-Sat., 6 p.m.-2. a.m. No reservations; walk-in only.Follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
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