Please send all press inquiries to press@SFBuzzWorks.com
11.11.16 Beat The Buzzer: Because You Should Have a go-to sports beercade.
When was the last time "industrial" was used to describe a sports bar? That's part of the charm of BuzzWorks in SOMA. All the metalworking decor and purposely exposed pipes might remind you a bit of DNA Pizza a few doors down. The mezzanine comfortably fits large parties and gives you eye-line access to the 15-foot TV. This place is neither overcrowded nor pretentious — just a laid-back neighborhood spot serving 40 beers on tap, 100-plus bottles and bar snacks like nachos, bacon grilled cheese and hot dogs. If the live sports on TV aren't entertaining enough, claim your own victory on a pinball machine, pool table or foosball table.
If you only spent time there on Saturday nights, you could easily think that 11th Street between Folsom and Harrison was a place to get wasted without being especially discriminating about what you’re drinking, because it’s full of clubs like Slim’s, DNA Lounge, and Audio. Not that we don’t go to these places for the music, but let’s not forget Butter’s deep-fried PB&J and Frito pie. However, there is another ecosystem of fancy joints: Bar Agricole is on that same block, as is Bergerac, and Una Pizza Napoletana and SoMa StrEat Food Park are only one block away in [the] other direction.
Buzzworks, a new, upscale beer emporium on 11th Street, falls right in between. A project from Butter’s Vlad Cood, all its bartenders are [cicerones certified beer servers], and the rotating tap list — 35 strong, with another 100 bottles available — is very impressive. Now that virtually every neighborhood in San Francisco seems destined to get its own microbrewery before long, it’s more important than ever to aim high to get people to venture out, and Buzzworks is nothing if not a man cave — albeit one with unisex restrooms.
These taps run California-centric, with lots of Lost Coast (Great White), Fort Point (Standard Pale Ale), Calicraft (Ginger and Shiso Kolsch), and Lagunitas (Tuberfest) among the mandatory out-of-state breweries like Allagash (Lil’ Brett, White Ale), New Belgium (Citradelic Tangerine), and Deschutes (Sagefight Double IPA). As is to be expected, there is a great array of IPAs, including Ghost Town Brewing’s Final Rites Rye, which hits the palate in a round, smooth way. It happens to be one of the least-hoppy IPAs I’ve ever tried, and incidentally flows out of a badass, coffin-shaped tap head.
As a sports bar with a Tuesday night Geeks Who Drink pub quiz, what you see is what you get — on one of 30 screens. (However, on a warmer-than-usual Monday evening, even the NFL got pre-empted by the presidential debate, allaying Donald Trump’s fears of low ratings.) Hoppy Days, little discounts sprinkled through the week, include “22’sdays” (10 percent off all 22-ounce bottles) and “Fonzie Fridayyys” (50 cents off small cans).
And Buzzworks appears to have ensconced itself into the local beer world barely two months after opening. On Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 5-10 p.m., for example, it’ll play host to a beer release for a kettle sour called Golden Sunshine (a collaborative effort between 21st Amendment Brewery and Cigar City Brewing of Tampa, Fla.) with plenty of flights of 21st Amendment’s other beers.
While the snacks, for the most part, stick to bar classics — chips and salsa, hard pretzels with a spicy cheese sauce for dipping, pickles — there are also some conspicuously healthy alternatives, like banana chips and dried fruit. (Overall, it feels like a placeholder menu for the opening period, since the beer side of the equation was probably a massive undertaking.) But a $10 meat-and-cheese platter would go great with a $10 Bloody Mary — beef jerky stick included — on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Apart from pool and foosball, there’s pinball. Not quite enough to call Buzzworks an arcade, but half a dozen games (Fish Tales, The Addams Family, Star Trek) should be enough to keep you all from fighting with one another over who gets to play first.
With the Mid-Market restaurant graveyard only a few blocks away, you can bet anyone opening something on this scale is a bit nervous about the possibility of another high-profile flameout. Buzzworks has actually been in the works for some time — more than two years, as it happens — but its ambition level feels right on target. We’re psyched enough for Stone Apologetic Double IPA, and looking forward to a fulfilled promise of ordering in food from neighborhood restaurants. That could mean the tantalizing possibility of your own tasting menu of 11th Street mac ‘n’ cheeses from Bergerac and Butter’s menus, if you so desire.
Buzzworks 365 11th St. 415-558-1533 or sfbuzzworks.com
A massive sports bar has joined the likes of Butter and DNA Lounge, rounding out the offerings in this rowdy stretch of SOMA. It’s a sports fan and beer-drinker’s paradise with 21 big screen TVs and 40 beers on tap -- as well as more than 100 bottled beers -- in a converted warehouse space. True to fashion, the space comes complete with pinball machines, pool tables, and foosball.
09.12.16 The best bars in San Francisco for watching NFL football
Address: 365 11th St. (SoMa)
Takes credit cards: Yes
Games: Plays all games
Notes: Buzzworks, a new establishment from the owner of Butter, has an airy layout, an almost unheard-of five-star Yelp review, and a mini arcade for those pesky commercial breaks.
The new SoMa ‘sports beercade’ Buzzworks has a new pinball league Prohibition Pinball starting league play September 14. “Buzzworks really wanted to have a league there to utilize all of these really fantastic machines that are interesting collector’s editions,” said Ms. Reid, noting that Buzzworks has more than 100 beers on tap. But their main attraction is the collection of vintage arcade games, foosball and of course pinball. “Their tables are collector’s tables, so they’re well kept after,” she said. Prohibition Pinball will be open to everyone from beginners to ranked players.
Second and Fourth Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., Buzzworks, 365 11th Street between Folsom and Harrison Streets
Buzzworks’ arcade focuses on the classic and vintage games, but a new generation of pinball games like Ghostbusters and Game of Thrones shows the genre’s recent technological advances. “There’s boutique manufacturers that have popped up and are making small runs of really interesting pinball machines,” Echa Schneider told SFist. “They’ve used advances in technology like the ability to have the lights on the play field change color according to different scenarios that happen in the game, and the games today just have really interesting rule sets. They do a really good job today of making games that are approachable for new players, but for people who are more experienced and serious players they have these extraordinarily complex rule sets that you can just get really deep into and spend ages learning more and more about the game.”
“We’re just really lucky with all the fantastic games that are coming out today,” she said.
You can keep up with these pinball leagues and Bay Area pinball tournaments via theHellaHeartPinball website.
Remember what you thought adulthood was going to be like when you were a kid? And then you grew up and being a grown-up was nothing like you’d hoped or imagined at all? Yeah. That sucked. Luckily, BuzzWorks, a new bar in SoMa is going to change all of that. Here are the most important things to know:
There are 40 rotating taps of craft beers and over 100 bottles.
There are 21 huge TVs (and one 15-foot projector) playing all of the games you could possibly want to watch everywhere.
There are seven pinball machines.
There are two pool tables.
There’s a foosball table.
The bi-level space is enormous. Like, former warehouse with capacity for 250 people big.
The bartenders are called “beertenders” and they’ve all passed the cicerone test.
It’s where dreams are going to come true for people who love beer and sports.
So fine, you still have to pay rent and bills and should probably only eat cookies for breakfast once or twice a week, but with a bar like BuzzWorks in your life, being adult can feel an awful lot like being a kid. Except with beer. Which makes it all so much better.
[...]This could be the early stages of a trend alert — a similar concept called EightyTwo has thrived in LA since opening earlier this year and the folks behind Butter will be opening up a [beercade] called BuzzWorks in SoMa next year. BuzzWorks owner Vlad Cood told Eater earlier this year that his place will seat 200 and will be like a “man cave on steroids.” And then of course Upper Haight has Free Gold Watch, which isn’t a bar, but has become quite a popular underground arcade. FGW finally got its official arcade permits and according to Hoodline is having a party on Dec. 10 that involves hot dogs and pinball games.
San Francisco, dust off your arcade skills. BuzzWorks — a microbrewery, arcade and sports bar all wrapped into one — is coming to SoMa.
Estimated to open in January, BuzzWorks will be at 365 11 th Street, between Slim’s and DNA Lounge, and comes from Vlad Cood, who owns microwave-food haven Butter across the street.
Joining the Bay Area craft beer trend, the bar will feature more than 30 beers on tap and a long list of bottled and canned beers, as well as wine and cider. Operations director and “Beerstein” Lyle Farrell will brew his own recipes in collaboration with other breweries and provide a curation of mostly local beers and ciders.
Designed by South Park’s Michael Harris Architecture, the bar will hold about 200 people in an “open mezzanine concept” with a long, deep bar, said Farrell. Arcade games and high-top tables will be on the ground floor, along with high-definition televisions visible from every seat, and a pop-up kitchen. Upstairs will be pool tables and more seating.
While the space won’t have a full kitchen of its own, BuzzWorks patrons can place orders for food with bar staff, who will call and pick up food from nearby spots like Butter, Bar Agricole, Basil Canteen, Slim’s, Don Ramon’s, Ted’s Deli, Izakaya Sushi and Cathead’s BBQ, among others. Some rotating and specially paired foods from BuzzWorks itself will be available from the pop-up kitchen.
BuzzWorks isn’t the only arcade bar — or “beercade” — to open soon. The owners behind Market Street’s Blackbird Bar have a bar in the works. The establishment, which has the working title Project 22, would bring the beercade concept to the Castro with cocktails, lots of beer, and games like Pacman and Donkey Kong.
“Games and sports are better when shared with friends, just like a good beer,” Farrell said. “Craft beer is simply incredible today, with better quality and quantities more available than they ever have been."
Following on the news of a new arcade/beer-and-wine bar headed to the Castro, and last year's opening of Golden Gate Tap Room with all its arcade games, the team behind Butter is planning to open BuzzWorks, a beer hall and arcade on 11th Street in SoMa. They're describing it as a "man cave on steroids," with 20 HD TVs for game play (including wireless listening devices) and a 200-person seating capacity. And as Eater reports, there will be food delivery options for drinkers and gamers from nearby spots like Bar Agricole, Basil Canteen, Bergerac, and Cathead's BBQ. It's set for a January opening, but stay tuned. [Eater]
Beer continues to be big business in SF. Hot on the heels of the recently-announced brewery project at 18th and Mission comes BuzzWorks, a microbrewery, arcade bar, and sports mecca that's set to land between Slim's and DNA Lounge on 11th Street. The project comes from Vlad Cood, who also owns fried-food and Jell-O shot destination Butter across the street.
Described by Cood as a "man cave on steroids," BuzzWorks will be equal parts sports bar and "beercade," with billiards and foosball tables, classic arcade machines, pinball, darts and more. The aesthetic will be "techie-steampunk," according to Cood, with South Park's Michael Harris Architecture incorporating details like the fully functional beam-crane from the building's former life as a welding and motorcycle repair shop. A mezzanine is being built in the rear of the space, and a long bar will run along the north wall, surrounded by high-top tables and additional bar seating areas.
With seating capacity for 200, and over 20 HDTVs throughout the space, BuzzWorks is going to be an ambitious project, one that gets even more complex once food comes into the picture. Though BuzzWorks won't have a kitchen of its own, Cood's staff will deliver anything from nearby spots like Bar Agricole, Basil Canteen, Bergerac, Slim's, Cathead's BBQ, Don Ramon's and many more. Diners can peruse the menus of the various establishments and place an order with a BuzzWorks server, who'll handle calling in and picking up the food and delivering it right to your barstool. The bar has also devised a solution for days when multiple games are running simultanously: screens will be muted so that individual parties can listen in to their preferred channel wirelessly, through what Cood is calling the "Pirate Buzz-radio" system.
The idea of all this assistance, of course, is to keep your eyes on the game and your hand on a pint, which will come courtesy of BuzzWorks beer director and brewmaster Lyle Farrell. In addition to brewing his own creations, Farrell will curate a NorCal-heavy beer and cider list, along with a handful of imported beers, wines, sake and soju.
If all goes according to plan, BuzzWorks should debut in January, just in time for the NFL playoffs. Considering it'll be the second arcade bar to open in the next six months, it's probably time to start dusting off your Donkey Kong and Centipede skills.
A website has gone up for a SoMa project I have been tracking and trying to find details on for a while: ~BUZZWORKS~. The team isn’t ready to disclose details on the project until May, so we’ll have to rely on their website for now, which says there will be a rotating selection of 30-plus craft beers on tap—with plenty of local representation—and the other big component will be large, high-definition TV screens. Yup, sports will be a big deal here. As for food, the plan is to have local businesses like DNA Pizza, Bar Agricole (which is just next door), and Garage Café supply the vittles—you’ll be able to choose what you want from large flip books, and BuzzWorks will place your order and get it delivered for you. Their plan is to have at least 200 menu options, along with visits from pop-ups and food trucks. Stand by for more in the coming months.