3/08/2013 02:00:00 PM

South Gets Swinging at the SF Jazz Center

The newly opened SF Jazz Center promises to usher in a new wave of activity in Hayes Valley, and now with the arrival of this flagship restaurant, all those music lovers will have somewhere to eat and drink as well. Dubbed South, the snazzy new Charles Phan-backed cafĂ© and bar veers away from Phan’s typical Slanted Door offerings and instead pays homage to jazz’s Southern heritage with a compact, mid-priced menu of soul-food-inspired small plates such as cornmeal crusted fried oysters and duck riettes with watermelon rinds as well as a handful of large entrees such as alligator sausage, gumbo and shrimp and grits.

The sleek grey-toned Lundberg-designed interior, outfitted with exposed cement, floor-to-ceiling windows and a glassed-in kitchen, also includes two bars - the main one and a small satellite one next to the performance venue - that specializes in cleverly named New Orleans-inspired cocktails such as the Battle of New Orleans, The Horse Thief Cocktail and Brandy Milk Punch, that lean heavily towards bourbons, whiskeys and other libations from the old South, but also stocks draft beer and local wines. South is currently serving dinner only nightly, but plans to roll out breakfast and lunch service in April.

South at SFJAZZ, 201 Franklin St.; 415-539-3905 

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