“Thriller” SF’s New Arcade Bar Opens Oct. 29
Opening Friday, October 29, 2021 Proof Positive Partners, the team behind Westwood and Wilder in San Francisco, will introduce Thriller Social Club, located at 508 4th Street, San Francisco, in a former SoMa foundry that features a custom wood-fire pizza oven.
- ADDRESS: 508 4th Street, San Francisco
- HOURS: Wednesday to Saturday, 4:00 pm to close
Inspired by the vintage midway theme, Thriller will be a 10,400 square-foot space with gaming, three bars for drinking, and dining experiences for locals and visitors alike. Owner Kingston Wu will be partnering with a number of key players: Stag Dining Group to create an inventive menu, “Joey The Cat,” the #1 Skee-Ball® player in the world, and introducing the world’s most expensive golf simulator priced at $85,000. The venue will also feature a new Fortuna Lounge on the second floor and playful cocktails throughout.
“We’re very excited to partner with the Stag Dining Group team and Joey to bring an elevated midway-themed carnival experience to the former Coin-Op space,” says Wu, also a well-known San Francisco hospitality investor in concepts like Horsefeather and Last Rites. “We’ll offer something for everyone, whether they would like to plan a company outing or birthday party, impress a first date or have a night out with a group of friends. and are ready to introduce our new concept to get people back out and enjoying their time off from work.”
Food & Beverage
Thriller Social Club has partnered with Stag Dining Group, one of the most well-respected culinary outfitters that have a track record of creating great food experiences, to design a playful menu that is dedicated to sourcing quality ingredients and preparing whimsical dining experiences by co-founders Chef Jordan Grosser, Chef Theodore Fleury, and President Matthew Homyak.
Dishes will be taking inspiration from classic Americana fare. Snacks include: French Fries with nori-ranch powder, herbs, and roasted garlic aioli ($9); Bavarian Style Salted Pretzel with port wine cheese ($10); BBQ Pulled Pork Deviled Eggs with apple slaw, fried onions, and cilantro ($9). Pizza highlights include classic and creative pies baked fresh in the custom wood-fire pizza oven. Examples include Fresh Mozzarella with basil, parmesan, and oregano ($22); Sausage with mascarpone, honey, jalapeno, mozzarella, parmesan ($25); and Mushroom Pizza with goat cheese, caramelized onion, mascarpone, potato chips, herb pistou, and parmesan ($28); Peking Duck made with roasted duck, hoisin, caramelized onions, shitake mushrooms, mozzarella, fried wonton chips ($31), which became a crowd favorite at California Pizza Kitchen in the ’90s.
Other Eats feature a Wedge Salad with bacon, blue cheese, tomato, soft herbs, pickled wasabi, crispy garlic & onion ($15); Classic Buffalo Wings with celery, ranch or blue cheese dressing ($16); Veal-Pork-Beef Meatballs and Fresh Mozzarella with baguette ($18); Smashburger with fancy sauce, shaved onions, American cheese, dill pickles, shredded lettuce, Single ($11), Double ($15); Thrillerdog with cheddar, scallion sour cream, bacon, chive, brown mustard, mayo, and potato sticks evoking a 13″ hotdog on a loaded potato with a 13″ hot dog ($21); and Butter & Bacon Lobster Roll: a classic east coast staple with warm, delicious lobster and bacon tossed in nutty brown butter topped with aioli and crunchy celery relish ($27). For Dessert, guests can revel in Cinnamon ‘n Sugar Donut Holes with boozy coffee frosting ($8). Coney Island-inspired adult snacks such as Boozy Cotton Candy made with vodka and Crown Royale Apple Caramel Popcorn will be available.
The cocktail menu will be spearheaded by Carlo Gaabucayan (Water Bar, Mission Rock, and Kuleto’s) and Sean Doolan (current Beverage Manager for sister properties Wilder & Westwood) and will feature freshly prepared cocktails like The Happiest Gilmore with gin, citrus, cucumber, and mint; The Bearded Lady with vodka, citrus, Ancho Reyes, and blackberries, and batched drinks; Vieux Carré with Woodenville Rye Whiskey, Hennessey, sweet vermouth, bitters, and benedictine, and the classic Espresso Martini with vodka, Kahlua, housemade horchata, and cold brew. Batched cocktails will include a Hurricane with spiced rum, passion fruit, grenadine, and lime; Thriller Margarita with the option of strawberry, mango, and peach puree; and a classic Titos Mule with vodka, ginger beer, lime. Thriller will also feature two hard seltzers on draft: Joey the Cat’s Claw with tequila, tamarind, and lime; and the Botanical Claw with Ketel One Botanical grapefruit and rose, strawberry, and lime. Prices range from $11-14 per drink.
Joey “The Cat” Mucha, the #1 Skee-Ball® player in the world, who has won three national championships, has overseen the curation of the arcade games, and now, Thriller will be the home of the San Francisco Brewskee-Ball®, a national competitive league of rollers. Game examples include Skee-Ball®, Connect 4 HD (Pop-a-Shot meets Connect4)), Ring Toss, Down the Clown, Hyper Pitch (baseball throw), The Boxer, and more. They’re all games of skill, analog, instant gratification, and simple to play.
“With the game assortment, we’re bringing the boardwalk to the big city. All of the games are a nod to the classic attractions found on the boardwalk,” says Mucha. “This is a significant deviation from the normal barcade concept of cocktails and classic cabinets. The majority of arcade bars in urban environments focus exclusively on classic arcade games. We’ll still have a nod to that era of classic cabinets in Fortuna’s Lounge but our focus will be simple, social, and physical fun. Fewer screens is a good thing, we stare at those all day.” Pricing is $1-$2 per game.
In addition, owner Wu is known for bringing the first permanent mechanical bull to San Francisco at Westwood on Lombard and now is introducing the world’s most expensive golf simulator from Full Swing to Thriller Social Club ($85,000) that both Tiger Woods and Steph Curry have in their homes. There are 84 championship golf courses to be played virtually as well as multi-sport games like soccer, zombie dodgeball, and hockey.
The Fortuna Lounge is located on the second floor and open to the public yet bookable for private events later this winter. The vision for the space as a drinking destination is one where guest bartenders will bring their talents to create rotating menus and offer a “Dealer’s Choice” option where customers simply describe their favorite liquor and leave the fate in the bartender’s hands, similar to an experience with a fortune teller. The lounge will also exclusively feature some of the rarest whiskies, tequilas, and mezcals, which can be ordered on the rocks, neat, or incorporated into the custom-created cocktail. The decor will feature plush seating and velvet curtains that can be pulled back for voyeurs to watch the crowd below or closed for private events as well as other gypsy-themed elements.
The vintage circus-themed space was designed by Scott Levkoff of Midwayville, which creates immersive spectacles and live social gaming experiences that bring people together. Past corporate clients include Google, Genentech, The Battery Club, the Edwardian Ball, and more.
“As the Lead Designer, my intention was to create an enticing, delightful environment that invites guests to explore a timeless era that evokes amusement halls, boardwalk arcades, and wonder palaces of years gone by,” says Levkoff. “I’ve been fascinated and in love with San Francisco’s rich history in my 30 years here and wanted to create something that felt like stepping into history yet felt modern and fresh. We took inspiration from multiple eras and aesthetic influences, a few being: Barbary Coast drinking parlors, San Francisco’s “Playland at The Beach” in Ocean Beach from the 1900s, England’s ‘Blackpool” and Vaudeville Theaters, and more.”
As a ‘Social Club,” the venue benefits from offering warm and welcoming elements like private conversation nooks, plush curtains, warm lighting, and cozy furniture. The goal for the space is that it becomes a designation to experience a venue that’s unique, classy, and playful.