Bar#1 Whiskey Thieves

I wish i could say that i started this resolution out with a bang. unfortunately though, i started it by going to a bar at 6pm which obviously isn’t the liveliest and most fun time to check out a bar. why was i out drinking at 6pm? well, if you’ve got a resolution to hit up 50 new bars in one year, and you’re sitting around doing nothing, then hell, why not?

I chose whiskey thieves because it’s in the Tenderloin. Actually, i have a feeling that i might end up going to the Tenderloin a lot this year since it’s a neighborhood i really haven’t explored at all. yeah, it’s one of the most sketchy, filthy, and uninviting areas in SF and lots of people avoid it like the plague, but I get the feeling that there are really some cool hidden spots over there that don’t get the credit they deserve just because of their location.

in front of the bar, they had their logo shimmering and lit up through galvanized steel, which was a pretty cool effect and kind of had a techno-pirate kind of feel to it. inside, there was more galvanized steel along the wall and the place actually looked a bit fancy to be just another dive bar. as the name implies, this place is all about whiskey and they actually have a four page whiskey menu with a ton of different kinds. unfortunately, i couldn’t tell a $50 whiskey shot from a hole in the ground, and the only whiskeys i recognized on the menu were Jack Daniels and his other cheap-ass friends. I’ve drank my fair share of Jack, so i decided to try his cheapo friend called George Dickel, which ended up being pretty good. Other than whiskey, this place had a bunch of beers on tap including Chimay, and also sold my favorite beer, Hoegaarden, which you can’t find in a lot of places. Actually, just the fact that this place has Hoegaarden makes it good in my book, now if they could only get it on tap…

Like i said, it was only 6pm, and the bar had just opened for the night, so it was pretty dead. there were probably only like 5 other people in the place, so the three of us just sat around at a table and drank. the place had a pool table which we didnt try, and apparently Tom’s favorite pinball game ever, which we didnt get to try either since it was mysteriously unplugged soon after we arrived. they also had one of those tech jukeboxes that downloads songs off the internet, so we ordered a few songs, although it was kind of a rip off at $1.00 per song. our songs didnt play till about a billion songs later, which is weird cause i never saw anyone put a ton of money into the jukebox. i read later that Whiskey Thieves is one of the few bars in SF where you are allowed to smoke, but we weren’t sure of this at the time since there were some no smoking signs posted.

Anyways, overall i thought this place was really cool. the drinks were decently strong, selection of beer was good, and it seems like it’d be a fun place to hang out later in the night when there are more people. hopefully I’ll go back there some day and check it out again…

Whiskey Thieves is at 839 Geary St.


New Year’s Resolution

2006 is a brand new year, and as always January is a good time to make a new resolution for your life. Most people take this opportunity to try to change their lives in a healthy way… you know: eating less, going to the gym, flossing, whatever. I’ll try to make some of those healthy resolutions too one of these days, but for now my only new year’s resolution involves drinking copious amounts of alcohol. heh, ok, well, i’m sure i would have drank my fare share this year without any kind of resolution, but my resolution deals more with *where* i’ll be doing this drinking.

i was thinking the other night how i’ve lived in (or at least near) San Francisco for *ages*. how many nights have i gone out drinking in SF? hundreds? thousands? more? but when i really think about it, how many different bars have i been to in SF? a handful maybe. i, and everyone i know, always end up going to the same places over and over and over and over again. In san francisco, there is this huge tendency to always go do things in the neighborhood you live in. if you live in the Sunset, then you eat, drink, and go out in the Sunset. if you live in the Mission, most of your activities will end up near the Mission. people pick a few spots that they like and just visit them time and time again. yet, there is sooo many different places out there in SF that i have never explored.

so here’s my idea: visit a new bar every week this year. 52 bars in 52 weeks. well, 50 i guess since i started 2 weeks late. i know it’s ambitious. that’s a lot of bars. but i think i can do it. This year, i’ll venture out and try different bars all over the place. from lounges to dive bars to pubs, i’ll seek them all out. I’ll hit up places in North Beach, the Tenderloin, and other areas of the city that i’ve rarely hung out in. It wont always be easy to drag people out to try something new, but it’ll be worth it to check out s lot more of what SF has to offer.

Luckily, i’m not alone in this endeavor. My good friend Tom has agreed to help, and will be going to all 50 bars with me. You know that someone is a true friend when they agree to do such a difficult and exhausting task without even a second thought. With Tom, i think it’ll be possible to succeed and reach the goal.

if on Dec 31st of this year, we can look back and say that we’ve visited 50 bars, we’ll know that we accomplished something. it might not be a incredible something, it may not even be a useful something, but hell, it’ll be something dammit. and that’s better than nothing.