Bar#33 – Bow Bow Coctail Lounge

everyone’s definition of a dive bar is different. i’ve been amazed in the past at the kind of places that some people consider to be dives. well, when it comes to the Bow Bow, i’m sure everyone could come to an agreement that it’s one of the diviest places around. the place is dirty and hazy from all the smoking going on inside it. peanut shells are scattered over the floor from the free peanuts served on the bar (watch out for the funky boiled ones, yuck!). at the far side of the room, people are screaming karaoke at the top of their lungs. man, even 5 drinks later, that karaoke still sounded horrific.

the patrons here we serious drunks. there was the drunk woman at the bar who stood up of her stool and then just crumpled onto the floor… she had to be helped up by the bartender, and then just sat their passed out till someone came in the bar, and carried her out. two wasted guys at the bar sat there and heckled everyone who passed by at the top of their lungs until they were threatened to be killed by a passerby. there was the vagrant who came in to demand money from the bartender. and of course, there were two guys who were obssesed with trying to get everyone to do karaoke and they called tom “cupcake”.

so, yeah, this place was quite an experience. we all loved it and definitely want to go back. never a dull moment in that place. the bartender “Candy” was super friendly and kept pushing more and more beers on us. then, when tom asked for a free one, she just said “sure” and gave him a free beer. free beer?! yes, that’s right.. free beer… truly amazing.

Bow Bow Coctail Lounge is at1155 Grant Avenue in San Francisco

Bar#7 International Sports Club

I don’t really have too much to say about the International Sports Club. we had decided to check it out since it was next door to Kennedy’s. well, they didn’t serve curry like Kennedy’s did, so that was a strike against them already. They also didn’t have a foosball table or air hockey. Basically, I really couldn’t see any reason to go to this place if you have Kennedy’s right next door. What they did have was a drunken frat guy who decided, instead of waiting in line for the bathroom, to piss on the kegs that were sitting in the hallway. Classy! Also, their bartenders lied to us and said that the place had run out of beer and only had liquor left. Minutes later, we saw them serve beer to someone else. Why would you lie like that to your customers?

So basically, I cant say I got a good impression of this place. Oh wait, now I remember what this place had that Kennedy’s didn’t… at Kennedy’s they served only beer/wine, but here you could get the hard stuff. In fact, we had come here specifically to get some Irish carbombs, but as I mentioned, we were told that there was no more beer. Lame! So, I guess if you’re desperate to drink hard alcohol, you could check this place out, but otherwise, definitely stick with Kennedy’s.

Tom earlier in the night

By the time we left the place, tom was pretty smashed, so I’m not sure what he remembers about this place (if anything), heh. When we dropped him off at his house, he ended up sleeping the night away on the floor in between the couch and the coffee table. The next morning, his roommates woke up to find: an umbrella in the microwave, a shoe in the fridge, a flip-flop in the freezer, condiments in the bathroom, bath products in the kitchen, a kitchen chair and George foreman grill in tom’s bed, and tom with no pants on. Now, I wont comment here on who did what, but I will say that none of us did anything to tom’s pants. We’re good friends with him, but not *that* good friends.

Tom later in the night

International Sports Club is on 1000 Columbus Ave in San Francisco


Bar#6 Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House

St. Patrick’s day gets really crazy in north beach. People will take pretty much any excuse they have to drink copious amounts of liquor, so tons of people come out to celebrate their non-Irish roots. It’s kind of comical and bizarre how popular holidays like st. Patrick’s day and cinco de mayo are in the US. Half the people celebrating them don’t even know what they mean, but hey, I guess the more holidays the better, yeah? Anyways, driving up through north beach, there were throngs of people milling about in the streets and stumbling from bar to bar. Everyone was wearing green. Green shirts, green crazy hats, and shamrocks everywhere. I’ve never seen this area get so crazy.

We decided to try out this place called Kennedy’s. this place is a very bizarre combination of an Irish bar and an Indian restaurant. I really have no clue who could have come up with that idea. I know curry is crazy popular in the UK (apparently curry beat out fish and chips as the most popular food last year), but I don’t think the Irish have ever been associated with it. Really though, if you think about it, it’s a great combo. Beer goes great with Indian food and there’s nothing like having a restaurant right there inside the bar in case you get hungry after a bunch of drinks.

If we thought that north beach was crazy outside, it was even more nuts inside the bar. The place was completely packed and there was practically no space to walk through. Li and I waited for what seemed to be ages at the bar to order our drinks. The place had run out of pitchers, and the bar tenders seemed to be getting pissed at the constant barrage of drink orders, but luckily eventually fresh pitchers were brought out and li and I got served. I stumbled and almost dropped a whole pitcher when my foot got caught in someone’s sweater on the way to my table, but luckily I kept my balance.

The staff forgot to bring our food out to us and so our food was pretty cold by the time we went back to the counter to see why our food wasn’t brought to us. Oh well, what can you expect on such a hectic night? The food was pretty good though… at least the chicken tikka masala was.

Overall, I think this place was a good place to start the night if you’re hungry. Or maybe if just some people you’re with are hungry… that way whoever wants to eat can eat, while others can start drinking. Plus, the place is right across the street from Bimbo’s so it would make a great place to have a pre-concert drink/snack. The place is also really big so (other than st Patrick’s day) there’s plenty of space for tons of people to hang out. They have a pool table, air hockey table, and a foosball table plus an outdoor smoking area too, so basically you can eat, drink, smoke, and play games all in one place. Not bad!

Kennedy’s is at 1040 Columbus Avenue in San Francisco


Bar#5 Rogue Brewery

for most of my life, i’ve never really been a huge fan of beer. i’ve always been way more into hard alcohol, especially vodka. Beer was just something to drink as a last resort if there was nothing better available. Strangely enough though, over the last year i’ve really started liking it. I’m really not sure how it happened, but often now i find myself craving the taste of beer instead of just enduring it. Maybe it happened from being stuck in so many small villages around the world where beer was pretty much the only alcohol to be had… and in the sweltering heat, it was super refreshing.

The other day, Tom got a huge promotion at work, so we went to Rogue Brewery to celebrate. i’ve heard that the beer there is super good, and was excited to try a few of their different kinds. They had a ton of varieties to choose from, and i started with the Saint Rogue Red which was recommended to drink with their Kobe Beef Burger. the burger was awesome… there’s nothing quite like a huge burger with blue cheese all over it! the beer on the other hand… was just ok.

Next i decided to try something a little more out of the ordinary: Chipotle Ale. i *love* the flavor of Chipotle… such a good combination of sweet and spicy, but the Chipotle ale didn’t taste very good. it just tasted kinda funky. and i dont mean funky in a good way. We ended the night by having a chocolate stout float. my friends liked it, but i wasn’t a huge fan. i think the beer would have been good by itself, and the ice-cream good by itself, but together the beer just made the ice cream taste bitter and have a gnarly aftertaste.

So, in the end i have mixed feelings about the place. i really dig their designs/logos, the food was pretty damn good, and i thought it was funny that they had frozen tv dinners on the menu along with the rest of the food. but the beer itself wasn’t all that great. maybe it was just the ones i tried? i might possibly go there again one day and try a beer sampler to see what other stuff they have available. we’ll see…

Rogue Brewery is at 673 Union St in San Francisco