SF Bar Star opens Oakland hotspot for cocktail nerds

Bar star Jennifer Colliau announced the announcement of her first solo project Here’s How almost two years ago. Now, after seemingly endless setbacks and permissions, the bar and restaurant is finally open and filled with Colliau’s signature self-described cocktail nerdery.

Colliau has been in the Bay Area cocktail scene for decades, most recently as bar manager at Interval at Long Now. She also runs a shop called Small Hands Foods that makes small staples like orgeat and grenadine. However, here’s how Colliau first pushed the entire concept from start to finish, making sure every detail is in sync with her very particular tact sensitivities.

Colliau, who grew up in Oakland, has been part of the cocktail scene for over a decade – enough time to decide how things should be done and what the drinkers want. “We’re in this really creative space right now with cocktails that I just love,” says Colliau. “I think sometimes there are places that take the tech too seriously and the experience becomes more about the tech, but I think the tech is now just part of the vocabulary we have to provide an experience for a guest create. It’s like art versus craft. You need the craft, the technology and then you can be creative. ”

Rebujito: traditional drink made from dry sherry and lemon-lime soda and mint with an almost invisible ice spear

Creative touches can be found everywhere at Here’s How, a name inspired by a 1941 book by WC Whitfield. Colliau also took a literal perspective in interpreting Here’s How, adding instructional recipes and pictures to the bar’s cocktail menus, and designing an open prep kitchen where diners can watch hand-slicing ice cream or other cocktail making.

And there is definitely quite a bit of preparation for the seemingly simple cocktails. Colliau and her crew stir drinks with digital thermometers to ensure drinks reach an appropriate temperament and are not over-diluted. Ice cream is cut by hand; A specially developed soda system carbonizes homemade lemonades such as lemon-lime, ginger and tonic. Even so, the attention to detail in the backend of Colliau and her team doesn’t make their drinks too complicated for the average drinker as many only use a handful of spirits and ingredients.

“I love all the creative nerdery, but it’s not about, that’s not the display,” says Colliau. “It’s about getting to a place and having a great time. then we can sort the shit up in the background and put things in a centrifuge. “

The glazed prep room means the team can show off some of it, but it’s not necessary to see it to have great drinks, explains Colliau. “It’s there if you want to know.”

Another fun addition: instead of having cocktails on tap, Here’s How sells cocktails in cans to streamline busy bar evenings and after-shows at Fox. There are also cans of beer, draft beer, wine and cider on hand.

Chilled cocktails in cans

Here is like cocktail

All of your needs will be met

Do i love it do i feel like it?

Although the drinks are stars, the menu is not an afterthought. “I really believe that you should always serve food when you are serving alcohol,” says Colliau. As a result, there is a full menu of dishes prepared by the chef Jordan Grosser (Stag Dining), from snacks like potato chips with whipped ricotta and salmon roe, fennel and radish to Kobe beef bavette steak with Japanese rice, cucumber, shiso and black garlic aioli. Meanwhile, a strawberry dessert contains strawberries with jelly, chilli, mint and “pop rocks”.

High ceilings and lounge sofas are distributed throughout an area of ​​3500 square meters. It was designed by the architecture firm Tierney Connor in Colliau and Oakland and creates a relaxed space with warm red tones, a dark marble bar and wooden floors. In the rear area, a private room with its own small bar can be rented or additional seating can be added.

Even more details flow into the design: the slats on the ceiling reflect the topography of a hilly section of nearby Adams Point (and were made by Colliau, who has a background in furniture design).

It’s a solid addition to a neighborhood that has slowly managed to get rid of empty storefronts and bring an ever more thriving nightlife to the area right around the Fox Theater. “I grew up a few miles from here and one of those fools,” laughs Colliau. “The places that have opened reflect what is so special about Oakland.”

Here’s how is now open from 5pm to 10pm every night; From Wednesday, May 1st, the hours will change from 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

View from the entrance to the bar

A small seating area overlooking Telegraph Ave.

The main bar at Here's How

The main bar

Manager Ben Riddell cuts ice cream in the prep room

Jennifer Colliau pours a cocktail

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