As promised, the Mission's newest music venue and bar, Preservation Hall West, opened to the public on Thursday night. There was a series of three shows there this weekend that coincided with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's visit to San Francisco, and the band led a second line, marching and playing around the Mission on Friday evening to celebrate. While the bar was open and operational for the shows, the venue itself was still very much under construction, with things like bathroom stall doors still being installed as the music began on Thursday. The Chapel Restaurant and Second Line Café, meanwhile, are still very much works in progress, with the restaurant still not set to open until next year.
Saturday night featured a sold-out, benefit show by Elvis Costello, who was also here for Hardly Strictly, in which he and his band covered music Robert Hunter, Charlie Rich, King Oliver and others.
Owner and developer Jack Knowles who also owns À Côté and Rumbo al Sur in Oakland as well as the whole former New College complex that is now home to Tacolicious and Mosto as well says he's looking to "Mission-ize" the New Orleans experience at the new venue, and to appeal to the twenty- and thirtysomething set that crowds into many of the nearby bars. In addition to residencies by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band throughout the year and other jazz acts, the venue will be booking various indie acts including upcoming shows by Woods on October 17, and Here We Go Magic on October 27. Tickets are available here.
He says that when he took the space he saw that the former chapel, which had been part of New College but originally was part of a mortuary on the property, called out to be a music venue and not a restaurant, and it was only after several people in the local music scene turned him down that he decided to go the New Orleans route with Preservation Hall.
As for the restaurant, À Côté chef Matt Colgan intends to do a menu of Provencal, À Côté-esque food "with New Orleans elements," and they're not aiming to have the full restaurant and dinner menu up and ready until 2013. There will also be an ancillary café space, with an outdoor patio, all of which remain under construction.
Preservation Hall West at The Chapel, New Mission Music Venue, Announces Opening Concerts [SF Weekly]
PHOTOS: PHJB Opened Pres Hall West Last Night, Led SF Second Line Through the Mission Today [LiveMusicBlog]
Preservation Hall West at the Chapel [Chron]
Earlier: Preservation Hall West to Open October 4, Chapel Restaurant to Follow
Menu Items and New Details from the Chapel Restaurant and Preservation Hall West