Verjus

Left Bank, West Coast

A casually sophisticated take on dining, imported from Paris, finds a storied and fitting home in San Francisco.

L’espirit de Paris

When restaurateurs Michael and Lindsay Tusk, the celebrated duo behind Quince and Cotogna, envisioned bringing a new style of dining to San Francisco, Jensen helped transform a Gold Rush-era building into the prefect setting. With Verjus, the Tusks introduce the city to the convivial, spontaneous spirit of the cave á manger, Paris’s contemporary take on urban European traditions of bistronomie—the pintxos bars of San Sebastián and Venice’s cicchetterias. A place where guests drop in to enjoy a glass of wine and simple French fare—often standing at the bar—Verjus defies conventional restaurant plans.

Wine, Dine and Shop

Cave á manger loosely translates to “eating in the cellar,” and the Tusks reinterpreted this idea as a hybrid concept blending wine bar and wine shop. For Verjus, Jensen carefully joined two formerly separate storefronts, allowing the bar á vin and la cave to keep different hours while sharing service areas. A backlit menu marquee hanging above the bar’s open kitchen announces the day’s featured dishes; its reflection in the high-gloss burgundy ceiling creates the illusion of a doubly tall space. Custom casework display an elegant composition of wine bottles, glassware, charcuterie, and the proprietors’ vinyl LP collection.

Modern Vintage

Like the food and wine offered at Verjus, the interiors by Lindsay Tusk Design are united by honesty and craftsmanship. The original masonry walls, painted white, provide a backdrop for a mix of vintage, antique, and contemporary elements. Custom encaustic cement floor tiles by Lindsay Lang Design, locally-sourced elm millwork made by artisan Michael Mellon, Pierre Chapo tables and chairs and mid-century modern Luigi Caccia Dominioni and Gino Sarfatti light fixtures complete the mood, at once sophisticated and whimsical with a hint of nostalgia.

History Repeats

Verjus’ home, the Eclipse Champagne Building, was built in the 1850s, but its name marks another moment in history: an early foray into sparkling winemaking on the West Coast. The masonry building survived the 1906 earthquake and never quite shed its Gold Rush past; the Barbary Coast neighborhood harbored gambling dens, speakeasies, dance halls, and saloons on and off through World War II, and jazz clubs and off-Broadway theaters in the years following. It’s a storied and fitting past for a cave á manger, a place that beckons modern day bons vivants to return again and again.

Type
Retail
Client
Michael and Lindsay Tusk
Location
San Francisco

Press

Bon Appetit, “The Little Things: A Design Tour of San Francisco’s Rustic-Modern Wine Bar, Verjus,” June 2019
7x7, “The wine bar we’ve been waiting for, Verjus serves European flavor,” June 2019
SF Chronicle, “Verjus is a new San Francisco star,” May 2019
SF Chronicle, “Verjus answers the call of San Francisco’s natural wine scene,” January 2019
Eater SF, “Inside SF’s Hottest New Wine Bar, Where High-Gloss and Hi-Fi Rule,” January 17, 2019

Architects

Project Leads
Mark Jensen
Melissa DeLacy
Interiors
Lindsay Tusk Design

Consultants

Structural
JYASF
Food Service
Harrison, Koellner, LLC

Contractor

Northern Sun Associates

Photographer

Courtesy of Verjus
Patricia Chang
Steve Peixotto