Bar Stars Beattie and Pazdon Bringing Classics, Hand-Cut Ice to Goose & Gander
The old Martini House, empty more than a year now, will roar back to life next week as Andy Florsheim’s Goose & Gander. Florsheim has assembled a bar team supergroup of sorts (we are thinking more Super Friends or maybe the powers of Voltron uniting than Velvet Revolver, but you be the judge). Today, we spoke with Scott Beattie who, along with Michael Jack Pazdon (who previously ran the lauded bar program at SolBar) will be manning one of the things that attracted Florsheim to the space in the first place — the downstairs bar, which he called “the best bar in Northern California.” While Florsheim was referring to the physical space, those words seem destined to become to be more broadly true as well.
For the past month, Beattie and Pazdon have been hunkered down in Beattie’s test kitchen (we are picturing a secret lair in an undisclosed location full of beakers and tesla coils, but that’s just us) with hundreds of bottles of booze working on a list that Beattie describes as “the most excellent representations of the most classic drinks.” While the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Pisco Punch and Pimm’s Cup provide a solid foundation, Beattie and Pazdon, in typical Beattie and Pazdon fashion, have introduced a myriad of unusual boutique and local spirits and exotic liqueurs like Batavia Arrack van Oosten, a century-old Indonesian spirit distilled from sugarcane and fermented red rice and St. George Terroir gin, distilled with indigenous California botanicals as well as (increasingly as the season develops) foraged herbs like bay leaves and fennel.
Beattie said the greatest challenge in creating the bar program for Goose & Gander was catering to both to a cozy, speakeasy-feeling basement bar (Walter Martini, in fact, boot-legged booze during prohibition from that very basement) that attracts many loyal locals and a vast patio space that will surely be swarming with wined-out tourists all summer. While the depth of the bar program is devoted to Scotch, bourbon and all things brown (Beattie is especially excited about his hand-cut ice cubes), drinks like the Cucumber Collins and the Spring Shrub will be slung from an additional bar on the patio.
As far as the actual bar is concerned, locals will be relieved to see that not much has changed. Chocolate-brown leather banquettes line the walls and the introduction of high tops solve that crowded butt-in-your-face problem. While the bar menu is largely the same as the one in the main dining room, a special late-night menu will be served from 10 to midnight: all local restaurant employees rejoice.
Below Michael Jack Pazdon on his award-winning creation at the King’s Ginger Cocktail Competition (via CineVine)