Bar#45 – Lush Lounge


my memory of this place is pretty vague. we had already spent most of the night at the Hemlock. we were wearing our Halloween costumes that night, but even though it was Halloween weekend, pretty much no one else was dressed up. hanging out in a bar while wearing a pink bunny costume was pretty random. i *think* that i remember the bartenders there being pretty nice… but maybe i’m just making that up. hrm, ok, maybe there really is nothing that i remember about this place… but at least the location is good… i’ll have to give it that!

Bar#44 – Hanaro

10/21/06 (dayum, i’m really writing this late!)

why did we end up here? i have no clue. there’s so many other bars to choose from. hell, whiskey thieves which is one of my favorites is just down the street. we had actually just been drinking at geary club down the street, and should have just stayed there. oh well. the bartenders here were all asian women who tried flirting w/ the customers to get them to buy drinks. apparently it actually worked on some people. the drinks here were also pretty pricey for a total dive. the one cool thing about our night there was that we got another group of people to sing along with us to the jukebox hella loud. yeah.. i doubt i’d go back.

Hanaro is at 939 Geary Street in San Francisco

Bar#43 – Geary Club


walking down the street we just randomly peeked into an open door and.. holy crap, there’s a bar in there. no sign out front at all. we wander in and the place is pretty small but pretty lively. the bartender was super nice and it really seemed like the kind of place that would be perfect for hangin’ out at and getting to know people. drinks were ridiculously cheap… our beers were 3$. they had a fun jukebox and the bartender would sing along to some of the songs. we asked the bartender what the place was called and she said that she guesses it’s called Geary Bar, but really it’s just no-name bar. there’s something really cool about a bar that has no name. if our friends hadn’t dragged us away, i would have wanted to stay longer…

Geary Club is at 768 Geary Street in San Francisco

Bar#35 – Nite Cap

the first time i came here, i thought to myself that this place must only be for true alcoholics, or at the very least, aspiring alcoholics. a bunch of old drunks sat at the bar, the bartender was surly, and there was a couple who were literally dry humping and rolling on the floor in front of the jukebox. yes! this is what hanging out in the ‘loin is all about! the second time i came here, it was a bit more subdued and had less of a divey feel. oh well, it’s still a nice place to kick it, and they have pabst for only 2$ ALL DAY. plus, the bartender made a damn good bloody mary, which is a tough thing to find (outside of zeitgeist).

the Nite Cap is at 699 Ofarrell Street in San Francisco

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

Bar#28 – Blur

sheez, it’s been 2 months since i’ve posted about any bars. i’ve got a bit of a backlog.

anyways, blur was an ok bar to check out. we went there because Vertigo was charging a cover. what’s up w/ that? i’m sorry, but unless you have some famous djs playing, it’s pretty much bullshit to charge a cover for a bar that hhas nothing special about it. so yeah, we didnt bother w/ vertigo, and hit up Blur across the street. this place was pretty cool… a little fancier than a lot of bars in this area, but not all stuffy and lame. our friend bob was celebrating his birthday and he did a”three wise men” shot which led to some serious vomiting later in the night. nice.

Blur is at 1121 Polk Street in San Francisco

Bar#27 RJ’s Sports Bar

This place is as divey as it gets. it’s a tiny little bar with a pool table filling most of the room. the decor suggested that there should be jocks high fiving each other while chugging shots of jagger, but instead the crowd was mostly young latino guys who looked at the 10 of us wondering what the hell posessed us to come here. we didn’t stay long… but when i think about it now, this might be exactly the kind of place where interesting stuff happens.

RJ’s Sports Bar is on 701 Geary Street in San Francisco

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.