All That Wine

Since its debut in October of 2014, Tender has become a neighborhood favorite, with wine on tap and small plates featuring cheese and charcuterie. PHOTO: Blair Czarecki / Hoodline

Since its debut in October of 2014, Tender has become a neighborhood favorite, with wine on tap and small plates featuring cheese and charcuterie. PHOTO: Blair Czarecki / Hoodline

Our thought and work processes guided by the 3Cs  – community, collaboration, and conservation – it’s encouraging when we find one of our ilk. And this time, our kin in ethos is living a dream in an apartment building at 850 Geary St, Tenderloin, San Francisco. Until a few years ago, the derelict building invited descriptions like ‘deplorable’ and the ‘Heroin Hotel’. That was before the Liptons arrived on the scene. The carefully renovated building now houses Tender, a tiny bar with wine on tap and an eco-friendly spirit at heart.

“My whole concept for this place was to create a home away from home, an unpretentious neighborhood wine bar that takes advantage of the technology of an eco-friendly business model of wine on tap,” says Lipton.

Located adjacent to Huxley, an intimate bistro serving New American cuisine, Tender comes to the rescue when the only option is to wait in the line to enter the bistro. And, it appears a good option at that. Behind the bar are 24 shiny brass taps, most of which are for wine, kegged in reusable stainless-steel barrels. Lots from the Paso Robles cab, but you might find an Austrian grüner. Yes, there’s beer on offer, too.

“When I learned about kegged wine, it appealed to me on so many levels. Above and beyond the green aspect, you have far less wine wasted. You never have turned wine, as the wine never sees oxygen. You’re not only saving on bottles—each barrel is equivalent to 26 bottles of wine—you’re saving on corks, carbon dioxide, fuel, labels, ink and boxes,” elaborates owner Miriam Lipton.

This arrangement works on reducing noise pollution, too – doing away with the need to recycle bottles. Also, most of the bartenders come from the immediate neighborhood and the upstairs lounge is dedicated as exhibition spaces to local artists. Definitely our kin.

Read more of the Tender story here.

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