We sat down with infamous Bay Area bar duo, Josh Harris & Morgan Schick aka The Bon Vivants, of BV Hospitality and chatted about their inspiration behind the beverage program at San Francisco Proper’s award-winning restaurant Villon, and rooftop bar & lounge, Charmaine’s.
For the 7×7 menu, the inspiration was the play on words — when people talk about how big the Bay Area is v.s. how big “San Francisco Proper” is. And as we all know, the city is seven miles by seven miles. We wanted to have a menu that guests could spend a long time interacting with if they chose, as a hotel is a place where people are more often at the bar alone. In addition to there being 49 cocktails, each of them are meant to have text to be read, both on the information about the history of the drinks, and also for the character that hopefully develops as you go through the menu.
For favorites, it’s always hard to choose. Of course, we like all the drinks on the menu, which is why they’re on the menu. “Personally, I really like the ‘Tuxedo #2’ and the ‘Pina Colada’, mostly because those are two of my favorite drinks ever”, Morgan adds. But it’s all based on mood and time of the day really. Hopefully everyone can find a favorite for whatever moment they’re in.
For Charmaine’s, the inspiration was pretty simple, what do you want to drink on a rooftop. The thinking on it started by considering places that we associate with al fresco drinking and the things that we associate with drinking there. That is not necessarily evident on the final menu, but it was the process. “I always have a ‘We Can’t Go Wrong’ when I stop in. But the ‘Let Me Touch Your Mind’ is pretty fun, and of course the ‘Proper Cup’ is a particular fave of patrons”, Morgan mentions. But again, everything on there is on there for a reason, or for a specific type of guest or a specific mood, so these are just the moods I find myself in most often.
Proper began as a feeling, not as an idea. The feeling was something akin to empathy; an acute awareness that despite the current proliferation of “boutique” and “lifestyle” hotels and residences, there were precious few properties designed for and around today’s global creative nomad. Many in our milieu share the same daunting challenge: staying fresh and focused,
energized and inspired—all whilst bouncing between London and Hollywood and Austin and San Francisco and Portland and back again. For them, intuitive service is a given. Mere table stakes. What they need and seek beyond accommodation, even at its most luxurious, is inspiration. From the elevated and often surprising interiors imagined by Kelly Wearstler. From the sense of immersion in, and connection to, the vibrancy of the local culture. From the highly curated amenities. From the inspired collaborations with the city’s best and most innovative chefs and mixologists. From the music and the art. From every detail, every interaction, every moment. This is only Proper. And no one else.