In a bar scene that often feels like, well, like a scene, it’s nice to have a go-to spot that’s cool but comfortable and anything but pretentious. Welcome to Howells. The brand new San Francisco haunt recently opened its Chestnut Street doors, and the Marina district has already embraced the neighborhood destination, which bills itself as “your anchor to start, end, or spend your night.”
The hotspot is the brainchild of Nate Welch, 10-year manager of California Wine Merchant, with the help of his father-in-law, Don McCall, who built the bar and bar back. McCall centered his design around scrapped tin from the roof of an Amador county barn built in 1896 that burned down during the butte fire in 2015. The tin is framed with hickory and supported with strong walnut throughout. The fabric paneling comes courtesy of Columbia designer and importer Sergio Spinel.
Howells features over 20 wines offered by the glass and extensive high-end bottle list, beer, and local, organic comfort food with a midwest influence by chef Sarah Galloway, formally at Spruce. The renovated location that housed Mezes has an upstairs loft-style space, and a private reserve tasting room (with an outdoor patio in the works). In addition to an array of cabernets, pinots, IPAs, and more, Howells’ menu features an impressive assortment of cheeses and charcuterie, as well as dishes like short rib stroganoff and mushroom soup.
Howells is located at 2373 Chestnut Street (between Scott & Divisadero) and is open Sunday-Wednesday 4 to midnight, Thursday-Saturday 4pm to 2am, with Happy Hour 4-6pm. Keep an eye out for Saturday & Sunday brunches in the near future. Visit www.howellssf.com for more information.