The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is really thinking outside the box this year, when it comes to private music schools. They acquired a record label earlier in 2022, at a time when the classical music industry is moving more towards streaming than physical albums and CDs. And as we learn in a new Bold Italic review, the Conservatory of Music now has opened a restaurant and bar at the Bowes Center at Van Ness Avenue and Hayes Street, and schedule Conservatory of Music students to play free performances for dinner and Happy Hour shows.
The place is called Uccelo Lounge (Uccelo “which means bird in Italian”, according to Bold Italic), and it apparently opened at the end of March according to a Position at the music conservatory. “Uccello Lounge incorporated acoustic treatments into design elements,” the conservatory said at the time. “You can enjoy incredible live musical performances, while carrying on a normal conversation with your companions.”
The dinner menu comes the compliments of Winner James Beard Chef Loretta Keller (Stars, Bizou, Coco500), and is anchored by Humboldt Black Cod, Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Wagyu Flatiron Steak and Turkish Manti Dumplings. Beverage director is Clay Reynolds, with whom Keller started the Exploratorium’s Seaglass restaurant.
About these drinks: what’s so obvious? cocktail menu is the very clever blend of bourbon and Van Nesscafé coffee. There are also impressive mocktails, and at the other end of the spectrum, a whiskey list whose options range from a Limited Release Maker’s Mark ($16) to a 21-Year-Old Japanese Hibiki ($354).
The Conservatory of Music says “The Uccello Lounge offers free live music nightly from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.” and performers primarily student music “may include a jazz quartet, vocalist, string trio, or other together”. The Uccelo Lounge website currently lists an 8 p.m. Saturday performance by jazz guitarist Spencer Hoefert and Friends.
Uccelo Lounge is at 200 Van Ness Avenue (at Hayes Street), open Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.