After weeks of seeing the construction work while walking past the former location of Annie’s Social Club, I was thrilled to visit Qi Ultra Lounge (917 Folsom St.) on Wednesday evening to experience the latest edition to our growing and changing neighborhood.
Owners Steven Crooks and Marco Vazquez have opened this luxurious and sophisticated space for sipping cocktails and listening to great beats. Upon entering Qi, you will be taken in by the ethereal vibe created with its undulating walls, curved white leather banquettes, large scale underwater photography and glittering metal accents.
Los Angeles based designer, Yasmine Farahani, did a fantastic job with the interior design . An impressive golden origami crane installation curves above the bar casting just enough glow to put you in your best light while you eye that hottie across the bar.
Maggie Schwartz and her team from the San Francisco-based consulting company, Noka Strategies, have created a cocktail menu reflecting the eternal elements of “Air, Fire, Earth and Water.
While I wanted to have every drink on the menu, my liver (and it being a Wednesday night) dictated that I had to choose wisely.
I first sipped on Morning Breeze, a cool refreshing drink of sparkling rose and muddled strawberries. According to Coi, one of Qi’s fantastic mixologists, all the juices, infusions, purees and syrups are concocted in-house from organic ingredients.
The cocktail menu is unique, tasty and top shelf all the way. Further sampling included Summer Garden- delightfully crisp with chamomile infused gin, lavender elixir and muddled blueberries.
I finished the night with a “dessert” drink called Campfire Snack. I call it a “‘Smore served up” with a vodka, a peaty scotch, Godiva liqueur, house-made vanilla syrup and a marshmallow, graham cracker rim. The Campire snack is a perfect drink for a foggy San Francisco evening.
My neighbor, who gamely joined me for this very difficult assignment of cocktail sampling, enjoyed the Hell Mary made with heirloom tomatoes, a Granite- Hennessey and black figs, and a Methane- Don Julio and peach puree.He declared the Methane cocktail to be one of the best cocktails he has ever had. It has a pleasant kick from the Serrano chili and peppery finish from the black salt rim.
The cocktail menu is fun, unique and varied. However, if cocktails aren’t your thing, bottle service with accompanying mixers and garnishes is provided throughout the lounge.
The curved banquettes create cozy seating areas perfect for sharing bottle service with a group of friends. A private back room is available for private parties. Owners Steven Crooks and Marco Vazquez have done a wonderful job with their latest venture. Qi is a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. It’s a great place to have a quick drink before heading out on the town, a sophisticated spot for a nightcap or a destination in itself. Enjoy!
Qi is open from Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6pm to 12am and from Thursday to Saturday , 9pm to 2am. Qi is located at 917 Folsom Street near 5th. Visit www.qiultralounge.com for information on upcoming events.
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