Proposed cocktail lounge in Nevada City: “handcrafted cocktails and soft jazz” with an upscale S.F. influence

"Bourbon & Branch" in San Francisco: an inspiration for proposed cocktail lounge in Nevada City.
“Bourbon & Branch” in San Francisco: an inspiration for proposed cocktail lounge in Nevada City.

More details are emerging for the proposed “Golden Era” cocktail lounge at the old Cirino’s building at 309 Broad Street in Nevada City, which we reported on exclusively here and here. As it turns out, our reporting has been spot on. Woohoo!

The “Golden Era” lounge in Nevada City will be redolent of some popular, new and innovative San Francisco neighborhood bars, some of which we’ve visited, we’re learned.

“Consultants would be employed in the design of the parlor & lounge, as well as the cocktail compositions,” according to a memo in the upcoming City Council agenda packet.  “These consultants currently work for Future Bars of San Francisco, who are responsible for legendary bars and lounges (Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, Local Edition and the newly opened Devils Acre are a few of their innovative successes.)”

Rickhouse has been named one of the top 10 bars in San Francisco. A writeup in The Chronicle about the Devils Acre is here. (See more photos of the S.F. bars below).

This Wednesday the Nevada City Council is being asked to authorize the police chief to “make a determination of public convenience and necessity for Golden Era, a planned cocktail lounge at 309 Broad Street,” so that’s why all these details are being made public.

“A Nevada County-based family (Steven and Cynthia Giardina) is seeking to purchase the building and open a parlor style cocktail lounge named Golden Era. Decor would complement the existing historic bar and gold rush era building and rich history of the region.

“The intent is to fill a perceived void for patrons before dinner and after dinner as an upscale meeting place serving handcrafted cocktails, speciality beers, local wines and non-alcoholic soda fountain drinks.

“Our demographic survey indicated that a substantial number of visitors and locals would frequent a lounge that provides a relaxing atmosphere, modest dress code, safe environment and connects them to the magnificent and rich history of Nevada City,” the memo reads.

“The proposed license has no restriction on sale of food. Golden Era intends to purchase food from local restaurants and purveyors, and provide appetizers in addition to the drinks provided.

“Music is proposed for Friday and Saturday nights. Music type would be piano, soft jazz or club instrumental and vocals. Noise levels would be consistent with City codes. There would not be rock & roll, country or hip hop style music.

“A menu would be established that recalled the ‘golden era’ and representative of local significance in the naming and contents.

More details on the proposed “Golden Era” cocktail lounge from the Council agenda packet are here.

These are the kind of businesses we like to write about in our magazine — along with the revitalization of the Spring Street neighborhood as an Arts District or lower Commercial Street as a food lovers’ neighborhood, with Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. and the proposed Wheyward Girl Creamery, so we’re excited about the “Golden Era” lounge.

As it turns out, this effort is bolstering the city’s coffers and good for business. For example, “A new eatery (Three Forks) boosted restaurant receipts … and accounted receipts for Nevada City’s July through September sales that were 7.5 percent higher than the same quarter one year ago,” according to a report in the Council agenda packet.

Rickhouse — named one of S.F.'s top 10 bars
Rickhouse — named one of S.F.’s top 10 bars
Local Edition Bar in S.F.
Local Edition Bar in S.F.
The Devils Acre (Photo: S.F. Chronicle)
The Devils Acre (Photo: S.F. Chronicle)
"The Wooden Nickel," a new cocktail at the Local Edition
“The Wooden Nickel,” a new cocktail at the Local Edition

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

8 thoughts on “Proposed cocktail lounge in Nevada City: “handcrafted cocktails and soft jazz” with an upscale S.F. influence”

  1. OMG. “With this kind of gentrification, there will be no watering hole for the old-timers to go to for a Mr. T Bloody Mary and PBR ‘beer back’!” LOL. “Oh, what a world, what a world”! BTW, I think you can have both and “live in harmony.” To each his own!

  2. The rumor on Broad Street is new owners are somehow related to the Bar of America owners located in Truckee.
    Happy New Year!

  3. I generally don’t like the yuppy scene and this seems to be on that side but think it will actually be a nice addition to the bar scene in downtown Nevada City. Especially with the Nevada Theater/ KVMR teaming up to what I hope is an even busier lineup at the theater with the attractions of live broadcasts for performers. Went to a few martini bars in Denver, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and San Francisco and couldn’t stand the pretentiousness and materialism of patrons or staff but get the feeling Nevada County at its worst will not even come close to those places and bars. One of the many jobs I have had in my life is that of a bartender, I have a degree in mixology (late 90’s) and have tended bar from fine dining restaurants to special events to hole in the wall dive bars in CA and CO.

    Making a Manhattan

    1. I’m not into the yuppie scene for the same reasons Ben. Since they do make some contribution to the area I agree it’s good they have a place to go and it’s better than having an empty storefront.

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