Voted Best Bartender in the East Bay by East Bay Magazine in 2021, Temescal’s Den Stephens is opening a new “cocktail dive bar” in the neighborhood this fall.
Hailing from Portland, Stephens came to Temescal in 2019 to help open the cocktail bar and restaurant North Light, of which he is currently General Manager.
This year he’s debuting his solo project, Tallboy, at 4210 Telegraph Avenue — taking over a 2,500-square-foot space that was formerly home to the coffee shop Hawk and Pony, near eateries such as DAYTRIP, Golden Gate Donuts, and Temescal Brewing.
Stephens tells What Now San Francisco that Tallboy is going to be an “ambitious cocktail bar that strikes a note between date-night fancy and cash-only dive bar” — in his words, “a cocktail dive bar.”
The beverage menu is being developed alongside Zach Edwards, who was named Best Bartender of the East Bay by East Bay Magazine following Stephens, in 2022. On it, Temescal residents can expect to find four categories of cocktails: classics, fresh, spirited, and low/no alcohol, in addition to an “ambitious selection of canned and draft beer” and a “wine program that leans toward natural.”
While unable to disclose what he has planned for eats, Stephens shares, “We’re really excited about who’s doing the food program.”
Ambiance-wise, he says Tallboy is going to be “warm, cozy, and comfortable” — “We’re going to have a really wonderful sound system. We want this to be a place where people can congregate in large groups, dance, and have a good time.”
Tallboy is slated to open this September.