From our picnic table perch on the patio, it looked like things went as expected for the Father's Office 2.0 debut: The place filled to capacity after the first hour, people got pissed that they couldn’t find a seat, the bold sat with strangers, beers flowed freely. To those who still whine that FO should add a waiting list and servers, we'll channel owner Sang Yoon for a moment---It's a bar, not a restaurant, and bars don't have wait lists for tables. And really, if he hasn't changed it yet, there's little chance he will. There was a moment when we thought FO wouldn't open at all, even with 40 people waiting outside, but the doors swung wide a little after 6pm. By 7pm, all the tables were full, people were waiting in the wings to pounce; the line that started at the door continued most of the night and finally fizzled after 9pm. Part of the problem was those patio picnic tables. Totally made for lingering, they're comfortable, with heat lamps when it's cool, no car exhaust from a crowded street, easy access to the bar and good sightlines to see who's walking in and out. Prime property. You think the tables at FO, the Original, were coveted? Oh no, friends, not even close.
For a first night, no big delays on the food at our table, and everything was cooked as it should be (burger just medium with all the appropriate toppings, fries crisp and hot, curry lemongrass mussels steamy). Ordering at the bar wasn't difficult, and service was prompt. Bartenders look like chemists with their bottle droppers of house-made bitters and Scotland water (which, by the way, only Scotch drinkers in barstools get to use themselves); the Manhattan with brandied cherry, we're told, was spot on. Surprisingly, the wines on tap come out at just the right temperature. Yoon and partners seemed relieved after the rush, even if there were a few minor computer glitches and the banquette tables in the bar still don't have their chairs. A magnum of 1959 Henriot Champagne sat on the bar as a congratulatory gift for Yoon. The chef known for his beer selection and uncompromising burger is apparently an avid Champagne collector and drinker. Who knew? Parking tip: Lots around H.D. Buttercup, and two across Venice/Helms intersection. Read more about the FO anticipation here.