Bar#36 – Bourbon and Branch

As soon as I heard about this place, I knew I had to check it out…. a secret 1920s speakeasy themed bar. The place was hidden behind a nondescript door in the loin, and had no address listed anywhere. The only way to go, was to make a reservation in advance, and then they give you the address. The whole concept just seemed really cool to me. Yeah, yeah, I know a lot of people feel that the whole thing is just really gimmicky, and I can definitely see that, but it’s still a cool gimmick nevertheless.

Trying to make my online reservations proved to not be too easy though. First, everything was booked up till midnight. Then, once I made a reservation, the website wouldn’t let me modify it. Then, the website went back and forth a few times between saying they had availability and that they didn’t. There are definitely a few glitches in the system.

That Saturday, at midnight, we rang the buzzer and were let in to Bourbon and Branch. The place was awesome. They really had the 1920’s theme down, with the nice decor, dim lighting, and old music playing. We were seated at a booth, and spent some time deciding what to get from the huge list of cocktails that they had on their fancy drink lists. There were so many different kinds of alcohols on here that we hadn’t ever even heard of. Also, this place makes all of their fruit juice from scratch and the mixers don’t run off a fountain. As promised, the drinks here were incredible. Almost everything we tried was delicious and made absolutely perfectly. The drinks were pricey, about 10-12$ a pop, but totally worth every penny. Our table ordered a bunch of different drinks, so each of us got to try a wide variety of them.

Although the drinks were great, the service wasn’t. First off, service was super slow and our waitress only came around a couple times in the two hours that we were there. We had the foresight to order a bunch of extra drinks w/ each order, but our friends at the next table only got 2 drinks each, which is pretty weak. Also, when the bar ran out of strawberries for one of the drinks, my friend asked if she could just have a different kind of berry substituted. They refused. Ok, I know they take great pride in their drinks and are really anal about everything being perfect, but still, I think that it’s pretty rude to flat out deny a customer’s request.

So overall, I can see why this place has been getting some mixed reviews. It’s a really cool concept, great decor, and incredible drinks… but poor service and they definitely need to hire a few more waitresses and/or bartenders. Luckily, they’ve only been open a couple weeks… I’ll bet a lot of these kinks will soon be worked out and this place will fully live up to its potential. I would definitely love to come here again.

Bourbon and Branch is at 501 Jones St in San Francisco

One thought on “Bar#36 – Bourbon and Branch”

  1. Thats the problem with a lot of places in the city. They pride themselves so much on being original and cool that they forget to worry about thier customers!

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