In all the hubbub about the fate of Cafe du Nord — the beloved, historic Duboce Triangle music venue that closed in January of this year for renovations, and which we learned in September was slated to reopen as a bar/restaurant from the folks who run Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, and Salumeria — the future of the Swedish American Hall, the elegant music venue upstairs with a capacity of 300, has been somewhat murkier.
Until now: Noise Pop Industries, the company that grew out of the music festival that takes over the city every year in late February (next year's is Feb. 20 through March 1, and has a pretty stellar lineup), has announced it will be booking shows year-round at the renovated music venue, beginning with a slate of parties the week of Noise Pop, when the room will serve as festival headquarters. The bar offerings will be headed up by Bon Vivants, the cocktail artistes at Trick Dog, and the Ne Timeas restaurant group will “create culinary experiences” — while also opening a new Basque-inspired restaurant, Aatxe, on the street level of the building.
[jump] Dawson Ludwig, the general manager of Noise Pop, called it a “thrilling opportunity,” and promised a full lineup of initial events at the venue soon. Our first thoughts? Sounds just a wee bit schmancier (that's a technical term) than the Swedish American we knew and loved. But Noise Pop has a reputation for bringing big names to rather small rooms, not to mention an eye for picking artists just on the verge of blowing up, so we're excited to see what the schedule looks like come February. Besides, these days, in S.F. — especially after hearing that du Nord would no longer be hosting the sweaty dance parties we'd become accustomed to there — any news of a fresh space in the city to hear live music is very, very good news.
Below, the 108-year-old Swedish American Hall prior to renovation. We'll update as we hear more.