At long last, the former RNM space (598 Haight), vacant since mid-2010, comes alive again tomorrow as Maven makes its public debut. They've got a much brighter interior, and a menu focused on beverage pairings, meaning there's both a cocktail and a beer or wine suggested to go with each dish. We're guessing this place will be welcomed warmly in the 'hood, much like RNM was, since it'll be the only "nice" place to go grab a bite and a drink on Haight, this side of the Alembic that is.
There's a "living wall" hung above a new redwood bar top, and several communal tables in addition to smaller tables and a comfier lounge area on the mezzanine level. Designer Gi Paoletti is responsible for the makeover.
Co-owners Jay Bordeleau and David Kurtz bring a wealth of fine-dining experience to the place, with Kurtz having done front-of-house time at Michael Mina and Saison, and Bordelau having been a sommelier at Mecca and Bacar before managing Beretta for a year and a half. Their concept is simple enough, as expressed in their tagline: "Inspired Cocktails. Delicious Food. Flawless Harmony." But with Kurtz's experience especially we're expecting to see a more polished service style here than your average cocktail-and-food bar. Also, Kurtz is serving as executive chef, with Matt Brimer, most recently at Maverick, serving as sous chef.
Note that weekend brunch will launch in a few weeks, and after a few pleas of reassurance with nervous neighbors, they couldn't secure the right to serve until 2 a.m., but they'll be open until midnight, daily. See the full food-and-pairings menu, as well as the bar bites and other beverage menu here. Update: See the full menu illustrated here.
They'll be open in time for the solstice tomorrow, December 21, at 5 p.m.
Maven - 598 Haight Street at Steiner - 415.829.7982 - Opening December 21, and open 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. daily.