Urban design litterateur-cum-entrepreneur Thang Do managed to dovetail his chief interests in his latest project, an architecture-themed bar in San Jose’s ascendant SoFA District. Every cocktail at The Fountainhead, named for Ayn Rand’s novel about a stoic, if not insufferable, architect, pays homage to the profession.

“It’s all true to theme,” says bar manager David Ma, the mixologist who worked with Do in creating an inventive menu that translates the bar’s aesthetic into liquid form. One version includes esoteric, but informative descriptions of the architectural inspiration for each drink.

Take the Greene and Greene ($12), which Ma says was a favorite at the bar’s recent soft opening. The apple-green blend of Nikka Japanese whisky, ginger liqueur, fresh lemon and green tea in an ice-brimming Collins glass is a nod to Charles and Henry Greene, whose designs expressed a Japanese influence.

The Vitruvian ($11) mixes Bulleit rye, small-batch Maraschino liqueur and Pernod Anise embellished with a curled orange rind. The amber dulcet in a coupe glass celebrates its namesake, the iconic Leonardo da Vinci sketch defining ideal human proportions as a model for classical architecture.

Ma will attune the menu to each season, changing up garnishes per availability and meticulously curating an array of locally distilled spirits, wines and beers.

“Everything you see here is something I personally enjoy,” Ma says, motioning toward the Art Deco bar set with backlit bottles of sparkling clear tequilas, hand-numbered gins and whiskies giving off a warm honey glow.

Adding to the theme is the setting. Snugged in a corner of the new SoFA Market, a scaled-down take on the bustling San Pedro Square Market, the Fountainhead is the latest addition to an edifice with its own architectural clout. Prominent local architect W.H. Weeks designed the renaissance revival-style W. Prussia Building in the 1920s. Over the decades, however, it cracked and crumbled into a shell of its former self.

When Do decided to make it the new home for his firm, Aedis Architects, he spent more than a year bringing it back to life. Aedis moved into the upper story in January 2014, the multi-tenant SoFA market launched months later and the Fountainhead opened this past month.

“Everything you see here was recycled from the old building,” Ma says. “The repurposed wood also adds to the sense of history and classic feel.” The mixologist eventually wants to host jazz nights, another tribute to the building’s birth in the Roaring ’20s. “[We] want to cultivate an urban center with good music, good conversation and a sense of history,” Ma says. “All over some of the best-sourced booze around.”

The Fountainhead
387 S. First St., San Jose. Hours: 5pm to midnight. 408.642.5270.