Mixologist: You won't find Mr. Goodbarr at The Residence 

The chances that you will ever meet Mr. Goodbarr, the man who lays claim to The Residence, are slim. That’s because he’s fake. Peter Garcia, the bar’s co-owner and one of its bartenders, made the whole thing up in the name of a having a cool theme. So, just as promised, The Residence has snippets of what would be someone’s fabulous home. There’s a fireplace in one corner, and each of its small seating areas looks as if it has been snagged from someone’s well-put-together living room. It’s almost as if you have stepped into the staging area of an interior-design firm. Now the chances of that working are probably pretty good — he knows what he’s doing. He did, after all, open the once-popular Red Room lounge (now Minx). Formerly occupied by Amber, The City’s best-known often-vehemently tested smoking bar, The Residence is more along the lines of somewhere you would want to hang your hat (not yourself). 718 14th St., San Francisco, (415) 797-8866

How long have you been doing this? About 26 years.

You don’t look old enough to have been in that long. This was before they changed the laws. I was legally working before I was able to drink. This was in New York.

So you were bartending at 18 in New York City. How much trouble did you get into? I got into quite a bit ... but I got trained by some of the best old-school bartenders in the city.

How long have you been in San Francisco? Eighteen years.

What made you move out here? I was really, really tired of living in New York City. I wanted to try something new. Moved out here with my now-ex-wife, who is still my partner here. And within a couple of years, we opened the Red Room.

Explain to us your concept here at Residence. Your menu has drinks from around the globe, yet the interior looks like someone’s living room. Who is this Mr. Goodbarr? The idea was to develop a place for our mythical owner Goodbarr to reside when he is in San Francisco. And we figured we would collect cocktails from all around the world and feature them. We saw that the trend was going toward better cocktails — as opposed to more fruity, girly cocktails — now we have more savory cocktails. And they really do make a difference. People can have more of them and not have that terrible hangover.

This place used to be Amber, better known as a smoker’s paradise than a cocktail lounge. How on Earth did you get rid of the smell of smoke? Scrubbed and fresh paint. We powerwashed the floors, got rid of all the furniture. We rebuilt the bar — it’s all cosmetic, nothing structural, but added paneling.

If you are going to order a cocktail, what will it be? I usually gauge the bar according to the manhattan they’ll make. And if it’s a s----- manhattan, I’m not going back.

Wow. I have these rules about bars. If you order a vodka soda and they put lime in it, I will never go back. Because soda gets lemon. If you ask, that’s a different story.

The Sands of Marbella

  • 1.5 oz. Dewar’s
  • 3/4 oz. cherry liqueur
  • Splash of orange juice

Shake ingredients together with ice. Strain into a bucket glass with ice. Rub rim with orange peel and use peel as garnish.

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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