Downtown’s newest barbecue contender is a city dweller’s smoked-meat haunt
There’s a new option for smoked meats and cocktails downtown these days, like Smoke City Arctic Char Bar opens Friday at the back of the Aliso development in the arts district. Expect ribs, cocktails and plenty of seating on the terrace.
While the front of the Aliso development faces Third Street, opposite places like Manuela and the new Camphor – and gets its own restaurant and bar remake thanks to the names as Arrow Lodge Brewing – Smoke City Char Bar is tucked away on the back corner, facing Traction Avenue near Arts District Brewing and not far from Fourth Street. The mixed-industrial dining room suits the location and is wrapped in lots of steel and cement. Tall roll-up windows let breezes in through a gold-touch dining room and bar, with TVs to catch the game and old street signs and other ephemera giving the place a newly rustic charm. Pendant lights and a touch of drought-tolerant landscaping complete the Designed by Mary Dailinger to see.
When it comes to food, don’t expect a super-focused regional barbecue operation like Moo’s Craft Barbecue in Lincoln Heights. Executive chef Omari Williams plans to tap into the Texas and California diaspora and beyond, which means brisket and tri-tip in addition to salads, smoked jackfruit, salmon entrees, and more. There will be vegan and vegetarian options available as well as desserts like charred marshmallows at the table for s’mores. A full bar means California wines and craft beers alongside cocktails like an old-fashioned Bulleit rye with molasses.
Smoke City Arctic Char Bar opens Friday, March 25 at 899 Traction Avenue. The project is the work of a group Associates of Cathedral Hill, who operate restaurants in the greater Seattle area, Mill Valley and beyond, and Bay Area-based owner Ki Yong Choi. The restaurant will maintain daily hours from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with an extension until midnight on Friday and Saturday evenings. Also note: parking is free for two hours from the adjacent Aliso garage, with validation.