We’ve been anticipating the opening of Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen  (slated for late July/early August) in the former Ponzu space downtown. With news of Chef Adam Carpenter helming the “upscale tavern-inspired” kitchen and none other than Kevin Diedrich as Bar Manager (who you’ve heard me talk about  since early Burritt Room days), it’s sure to be an exciting opening all around.
There’s breaking news on the bar side today that ups the ante even further. Brian MacGregor is another bartender who’s long been slaking our thirst  with superb imbibements since his Jardiniere days. He’s just signed on with Jasper’s bar team, making it officially an all-star cast. His Locanda gig fell through  a couple months ago, which was entirely their loss, but that paved the way for his new role at Jasper’s.
As Jasper’s is part of the Kimpton restaurant group, Kimpton’s Master Mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout is helping create the cocktail menu, heavy on fresh purees and juices, and, of course, local produce. Both Diedrich and MacGregor have been named Bay Area “Bar Stars”  by the San Francisco Chronicle in recent years, and with Bezuidenhout also involved, we can expect a stellar cocktail menu and execution.
Along with 18 international beers on tap and a wine list assembled by Master Sommelier Emily Wines , Chef Carpenter’s menu will offer a line-up of gourmet comfort with the likes of homemade pretzels (accompanied by smoked cheddar and beer fondue), and creative versions of fish n’ chips (with polenta crust) or bangers n’ mash (spicy beer sausage). Open all day, every day, this promises to be not only a welcome downtown dining option, but with all that talent behind the bar, a drinking destination.
-- Subscribe to Virgina's twice monthly newsletter, The Perfect Spot