Dominique Henderson and Alex Pomerantz, natural wine purveyors at Gemini Bottle Co. at the corner of 22nd and Florida, will open their first foray into the food and drink service scene in spring 2023, aptly named Bar Gemini. Sliding into a bustling Mission District restaurant hub that includes Tartine Manufactory, Ernest, Osito, San Ho Wan, and more, the all-natural wine bar will occupy the bottom floor of the Madelon Building at 2845 18th St. (@ Florida St).
Aiming for an accessible, low-key vibe, they’ve tapped Margaret Ruiz whose design firm, The Strand, creates interiors with an ambiance that are warm, welcoming, and unpretentious. Recent projects include Stillwater (Fairfax), and Souvenir (San Anselmo). The space will feature a long bar for those looking for a quick drink, cozy booths for lingering over the lengthy beverage and snacks list, as well as outdoor seating.
Previously the wine director at Rich Table (2014-17), Henderson’s intro to natural wines began at A16 as the wine manager but notes that her fondness for juicy ferments began in her uncle’s basements in Malta where they produced rustic, lively and fun-to-drink wines. Pomerantz, Founder/Winemaker of Subject to Change Wine Co. in Richmond, and previously the GM/Assistant Winemaker at Kivelstadt Cellars (2011-17), was an early aficionado of the minimalist no-sulfur wine scene at Ruby Wine, one of the first natural wine retailers in the city when it opened in 2012.
A distinctly local drinks menu will feature Bay Area-produced natural wines and beers on tap starting around $10 a glass, along with a vermouth and low-ABV drinks list inspired by the couple’s recent trip to Vienna’s Bar Bruder. They’ll also pay homage to David Lynch’s groundbreaking wine-focused restaurant, St. Vincent (2012-2015), by bringing back the option of ordering half-bottles from the list.
Henderson notes that they’ll feature wines sourced from grapes grown in organic and biodynamic vineyards (no exceptions), fermented with native yeasts, and with little or no additions.
Bites will include a selection of American-made cheeses and charcuterie curated by Sarah Simm of Lady and Larder in LA, plus snacks, dips, and pressed sandwiches prepared by Brandon Rice of Ernest. A rotating pop-up calendar featuring other local chefs is also in the works.