Inside Goose & Gander: Now Open
Completely renovating a beloved local icon can be risky business. Judging from the reactions at a preview this weekend, Andy Florsheim and the team behind Goose & Gander can breath easy, though. The new crew has done right by the 90-year-old landmark.
Let’s be honest: As great as The Martini House was under Todd Humphries and Pat Kuleto, the upstairs dining room was something of a train wreck — a collision between safari chic and a Castillian wine cellar to be more precise. The new look is a vast improvement. At once airy and cozy, the space is full of warm nooks and crannies. The various rooms each have their own individual feel, but the space hangs together as a whole and is more welcoming than ever.
Alexandra Wines Designs redesigned the interior with Trisha Florsheim, conjuring something of a hunting lodge or “duck club” vibe (decoys abound), and working with natural woods (the tables are reclaimed redwood) and materials covering the upstairs walls in a rich red. Throughout, personal touches (such as a framed photo of Andy Florsheim’s dad — what else? — duck hunting, stacks of dogeared books and other bric-a-brac) add to the warmth and tame the rambling 4,284-square-foot space.
The original front entrance to the California craftsman-style bungalow has been restored and serves as the main entrance (creatures of habit can still enter through the side, and past a snazzy natural wood communal table).
The downstairs area remains largely intact, with many of the old familiar features (such as the bar itself, the chicken wire cage behind the bottles, wood beams) joined by comfortable banquets and new touches that already feel well-worn and fit right in. Scott Beattie and Michael Jack Pazdon’s prepared cocktail creations now line some of the walls in hand-labeled bottles, and framed portraits of rockers like Mick and Keef and Johnny Cash hang alongside those of hunting dogs. It’s a very nice place to enjoy the pure Zen of watching the barkeep shave the ice into a shape that pleases him as he prepares your Manhattan. Overall, the bar feels just like it used to — perhaps only more so.
All photos Table To Grave/ John Capone