One of the Bay Area’s top restaurants is opening a new natural wine bar next week

Slug, from the team behind the perpetually packed Snail Bar in Oakland’s Temescal, will open July 22 at 102 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at Broadway and 14th Street. Andres Giraldo Florez, who opened the Snail Bar last summer to great acclaim and has previously cooked at the Michelin-starred Saison, brings Slug to life with chef Spencer Horowitz, formerly of Italian restaurant Itria in San Francisco, and manager general and wine buyer Jake Michahelles. Michahelles and Snail Bar general manager Peter Larue are also partners in the business.

Given the long waits common at Snail Bar, Florez said he hoped people would head to Slug if they couldn’t get into the Temescal spot. It’s a larger space with indoor and outdoor seating, although tables will also be first come, first served.

Slug will serve up simple but thoughtful dishes prepared by chefs with refined chops, such as these raw scallops with miso aioli and sumac or raw vegetables with Japanese egg dip. Fans of Snail Bar’s popular ham and cheese sandwich will find it at Slug, as well as a spin on the bar’s bread and butter. (Here, Normandy cultured butter will be flavored with yuzu and black pepper.)

Wine Bar.”/>

Slug General Manager Jake Michahelles, right, and Deputy General Manager Jules Butt inside the soon-to-open Oakland Natural Wine Bar.

Provided by Slug

To drink, there will be around 12 natural wines by the glass and many bottles. Natural wine does not have a strict definition, but here we are talking about wines made with as little intervention and added sulphites as possible. On weekends, Slug will host DJs until midnight, which is reminiscent of natural wine bar Bar Part Time in San Francisco.

Like Snail Bar, Slug will be open on Mondays to serve restaurant workers on their day off.

“It’s like a dream industrial site. It’s for the industry,” Florez said.

Horowitz has come up with several new dishes, many of which highlight small local producers. San Francisco’s Fatted Calf will produce white pudding and black pudding sausages for Slug, which will always be on the menu with seasonal and changing toppings. Think white pudding with a mash of brown butter and corn and fresh stone fruit, or black pudding with heirloom tomatoes, Chinese black vinegar and lovage oil. Florez, who called the sausages “slugs of the earth,” grew up eating his grandmother’s homemade black pudding for breakfast in Colombia and got to know white pudding while working at Verjus in San Francisco.

Shared Cultures’ popular miso, a Snail Bar staple, will also add umami to many of Slug’s dishes. A mildly sour chili urfa miso will go in the scallop aioli, while a Cheeto miso is planned for the fries and dip. Horowitz will also harness Shared Cultures peach miso to make a sauce for the sticky caramel pudding, served with fresh cream ice cream made for Slug by pop-up De La Creamery.

A wide selection of natural wines is on display at the Snail Bar in Oakland.  The owners' second bar, Slug, will also focus on natural wine.

A wide selection of natural wines is on display at the Snail Bar in Oakland. The owners’ second bar, Slug, will also focus on natural wine.

Jessica Christian/The Chronicle 2021

The wine list will lean towards French, Michahelles said, but also California, Italy, Georgia and Austria. They are delighted to work with organic producers like Stagiaire Wine in Santa Cruz and Château Fiasco in Lodi.

Slug can serve around 45 people indoors, including a bar and the same standing wine barrels used at Snail Bar, plus several tables outside. The space is decorated with local art (including by the Snail Bar staff), hand-cut mirrors, pottery, and vintage china. The wine glasses are decorated with the image of a slug pouring wine for a snail.

The owners hope Slug will appeal to everyone – a place to grab a snack and a glass of wine, eat a full meal, or dance to live music with a sausage in hand.

Slug. Opening July 22. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday to Monday. 102 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland.

Elena Kadvany (her) is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]

Comments are closed.