INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
SFist JUNE 12, 2014 - by Jay Barmann
THE INTERVAL, A BOOKISH NEW BAR FOR MENSA NERDS, OPENS AT FORT MASON ON MONDAY
Have you heard about the Long Now Foundation? It's an eighteen-year-old concern, based in San Francisco, whose focus is on "long-term thinking," as in the next ten-thousand years. Their projects, so far, include a huge clock that sounds really complicated that's being installed in a mountain in Texas that's meant to function for ten-thousand years, and a new book-filled bar at Fort Mason called The Interval, that will be partly staffed by robots. It opens to the public on Monday, June 15.
Musician Brian Eno, Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly, and Whole Earth Catalog creator Stewart Brand are all board members of Long Now, just to give you an idea. And as the NYT's T style magazine reports, The Inverval features "a library stacked with a thousand literary masterworks and reference books, an ambient soundtrack created by Brian Eno and, later this year, two robots: One will make drinks, while the other will write predictions about the future on the space's massive chalkboard."
It's a cool looking space, with study nooks, bookshelves, a big glass table at the center, and a spiral staircase that leads to... more bookshelves. The place is going to be open all day, from 10 a.m. to midnight, with Sightglass Coffee available in the daytime and plenty of booze - including Tom Collinses on tap - in the evening. Bar manager Jennifer Colliau, the founder of Berkeley-based cocktail-ingredient company Small Hands Foods, has created a drink menu inspired by "time and the history of the cocktail," using centuries-old ingredients like Chartreuse (which dates to the Eighteenth Century) and orgeat (which dates back at least a hundred years), and featuring old-timey cocktail styles like shrubs. She's also made a point of making some delicious non-alcoholic options, for the nerds who actually want to sit there and read.
And, as Urban Daddy notes, there are bottles of gin hanging from the ceiling that belong to donors who helped make the project possible. And from the back room there's a great view of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Expect this place to get pretty packed on Off the Grid nights.