SF Mixology founder Shawn Refoua blended his experience as program director and a student of behavioral psychology into an academy that brings bartending methodology and cocktail mixology into the 21st century. With an eye toward libation history, the school's interactive classes range from basic and advanced mixology courses to in-depth lessons on specific liquors and the evolution of the cocktail through the 14 years of Prohibition and the decade when swizzle sticks were outlawed. Each class complements the goals of cocktail party hosts, as well as aspiring or continually learning bartenders, who can learn and practice essential behind-the-bar techniques while brushing up on flavor theory and emerging recipe methodologies. Held in a high-profile bar, the laid-back classes include plenty of sample sips and enthusiastic toasts to newfound friends.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
The launders at Laundry Locker expedite the laundry process with a patent-pending futuristic locker system that eats your clothing and digests it to its cleanest and best-pressed best. Eco-friendly cleaning practices protect and restore the clothing you drop off in a Laundry Locker laundry cubby. Bring in your dirty clothes, take your locker key, and register your order by text or online before receiving a text or email letting you know your clean wares are ready for pickup in the same location. Lockers come in varying sizes to fit a large sack of laundry, hanging dry cleaning, or a stack of your freshly folded T-shirts.
A magazine about canine culture, The Bark melds readable articles about animal behavior and health with the pooch-related ponderings of writers including Augusten Burroughs, Ann Patchett, and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Mary Oliver. Subscribers who read the current issue out loud to their bibliophilic bichon frise can absorb an article by Camille Ward and Barbara Smuts, which focuses on how dogs resolve conflicts, or snicker at Rex and the City author Lee Harrington's sly skewering of a dog lover's foibles in "The Chloe Chronicles."
Swooning over SpoonRocket is easy. As SF Weekly's East Bay Bite of the Week put it: "SpoonRocket charmed me for a few reasons: it's simple, it's cheap, it's delicious, and it's incredibly fast." And the food is healthy to boot. The kitchen uses free-range, hormone-free meats as much as possible and hyper-seasonal and local produce to craft the two meals it offers each day. Because the two entrees depend on the freshest foods available, not even the chefs know until the morning what they'll be making that day. These dishes lean towards the comforting side, with past options including pork and chickpea stew, veggie chow mein with fresh noodles, and peppers stuffed with barley and lentils.
Diners choose up to two meals online, and sooner than they can recite the Gettysburg Address backwards, they'll get a two-minute warning call. The driver pulls right up to the curb to meet the customer, the final step in a process that's faster than driving to a drive-thru.