Foodie Updates: Smokestack, 4505's BBQ Spot, and Urban Putt Open Their Doors


It was a big weekend for restaurant openings (and reopenings), kicking off what's going to be a busy spring with so many new food and drink options. In the Mission, Urban Putt debuts tonight, and the grand reopening of La Rondalla happened last Thursday. Also, Dirty Habit opened on schedule, the enlarged Hog Island Oyster Company reopened at the Ferry Building, and 4505 Burgers & BBQ opened its doors on Divisadero, for takeout only.

First off, the sure-to-be-popular miniature golf course/bar/restaurant, Urban Putt opens to the public tonight after a couple previews and some finishing work on a few of the holes over the weekend. For owner Steve Fox this has been an obvious labor of love and the culmination of 20 years of personal passion for artistically designed, Rube Goldberg-esque mini golf concepts, all of which he and his friends constructed for private parties at his house. The project was the work of 65 different designers, from architects to sound designers, and no matter how bad you are at putting, you're sure to be delighted by the array of 14 holes, and the intricate mechanics and creativity that went into each one – from the first, earthquake-themed hole with its stellar replicas of the Painted Ladies, Lotta's Fountain, and downtown buildings, to the hole sponsored by Make: magazine that's built out of piano parts. For now there's just beer and wine, but the cocktail menu rolls out next week, and the food menu, including deep dish pizza, starts tonight. 

Also in the Mission, after seven years of sitting closed and empty at the corner of Valencia and 20th, classic Mexican-American spot La Rondalla has reopened under the ownership of the original owner's granddaughters. The margaritas are back, as is some of the original menu, but the place has been spruced up, and they now take reservations. And did you know this place has been in that family for 63 years? Yep. [Inside Scoop]

If all goes well, Magnolia's new Dogpatch brewery and attached BBQ restaurant Smokestack (with a menu by Namu Gaji's Dennis Lee) are set to open tonight, too at 3rd Street and 22nd. Eater has some photos of the cool, industrial space, complete with communal beer-swilling tables. In addition to plenty of beer, and new space for Magnolia to brew in, there's a full cocktail bar. The unreleased food menu is said to be "non-denominational" BBQ, taking cues from the Carolinas, Texas, Kansas City, and Asia. [Eater]

Dirty Habit opened its doors Thursday in the former Fifth Floor digs, with a dramatically different interior. The old courtyard out the windows is now a patio with partial tenting, and a fire pit. The cocktail menu is pretty extensive, with 35 choices in all, and the food menu is light on large dishes, but heavy on shareable smaller plates, as promised. 

On Divisadero, 4505 Meats opened 4505 Burgers & BBQ (705 Divisadero) over the weekend, serving up takeout sausages, ribs, brisket, and chicken, as well as their famed cheeseburger – and, as an added bonus, there's a dedicated burger window that will stay open until 2:00 a.m. to serve stumbling bargoers. Also new is the Frankaroni, which is a stick of fried mac-and-cheese with a hot dog in the middle. [Urban Daddy, Eater]

Hog Island Oyster Company reopened Friday after a four-month closure in order to expand into the next door space formerly occupied by Ferry Plaza Seafood. They now have a lot more seating indoors, as well as 65 seats outdoors, a bigger kitchen, and a full liquor license – with cocktails created by the great Scott Beattie. Say hello to gin-oyster pairings. [Inside ScoopEater]

And in booze-related news, Alameda-based Hangar One vodka has been sold to the company that makes Three Olives vodka. St. George Spirits, which founded the brand and makes all those tasty infusions, will continue distilling and infusing the stuff for a couple more years under the agreement. [Eater]

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