we were having drinks at poleng when we noticed this place called Gabin. why not try it out? so we walk in and the place is dead. like completely dead. there isn’t a single person in the bar except for the bartender behind the counter. there’s no music playing. just silence in a long empty building. i asked if they were open, and the bartender said yes, so we decided to get drinks although it felt really odd being there. as we played some pool, we realized that this place was a karaoke bar with several small rooms in the back. strangely enough though, we really only heard karaoke once in a long while. plus, each room was staffed with a woman who would only come out of the room very rarely to get soem drinks and then go back inside. veeeeerrrry suspicious. while we played pool, the bartender just stared at us the whole time.
i read online later that this place is a brothel. somehow that just isn’t a surprise…
Gabin is at 1775 Fulton in San Francisco
this bar was really cool. the decor was nice and they had two large video screens showing some really cool travel photos that made me all nostalgic about traveling in india. their signature drinks were a bit pricey but actually tasted super good. most of them are cocktails made w/ tea, various fruits, and other stuff. the one i got had a bunch of raspberry pulp and was bomb!
Poleng is at 1751 Fulton Street in San Francisco
Hoping to try something new, we decided to check out a sake bar. this place was kind of more a restaurant than a bar, but whatever, i dont know if it’s even possible to find a sake bar that’s not a restaurant as well. the place had sleek decor and a ton of different sakes to choose from. i dont know pretty much anything about sake, but i know i’ve liked unfiltered sake before, so that’s what i got. it was pretty good, but after tax+ tip came out to almost 20$ just for a tiny little slender glass. Tom got a flight of different sakes to try. all of them were actually really good, and it was cool to be able to try a variety of different types. anyways, i guess there’s a reason why sake bars are always restaurants too… the sake was nice, but definitley not something you can just hang out and drink on it’s own. after our first round, we took off.
Tsunami Suhi and Sake Bar is at 1306 Fulton Street in San Francisco
this is the kind of place that makes it hard to write a review. it’s a british pub, with all the usual qualities you’d imagine it to have. lots of beer. pool and darts. laid back atmosphere. there’s really not much i can say about it that really stands out. i’ve read that it has fantastic pub food, but we didnt try any when we were there. what i did try, was this beer called Old Speckled Hen. the beer, despite it’s bizarre name (which oddly enough is a reference to MG cars), was damn good. it reminded me of this other creamy ale that i had back in london. it was so good actually, that i wasn’t able to try anything else since i just kept ordering the same thing over and over and over. even if that beer was the only thing that stands out for me about Pig and Whistle, it still makes it worth going back.
Pig & Whistle is at 2801 Geary Boulevard in San Francisco
I read a bunch of reviews about Bar 821 on yelp, and one of the things that i thought was really weird about it was their door policy. they dont let anyone in after 11pm. hmmm, sounds like kind of an interesting gimmick to stop letting people in after a certain point and have a private party inside for the rest of the night. sure, a bit odd, but i thought it could be interesting. we headed down there and showed up at the place at 10:45pm. as we walked through the door, the bartender glanced up and shook his head at us. nope, we wouldnt be getting any drinks tonight.
it turns out that we misunderstood… they dont just stop letting peole in after 11… they shut the bar down. so, it’s only 11pm and we’re outta luck with no other new bars anywhere near by. what kind of bar shuts down at 11?? is it past people’s bedtimes or something? also, it’s lame enough that they close at 11, but why not at least serve drinks right up until closing?? the reason bars usually stop serving early is because they dont want to break the law and have people still drinking at 2am… but if your bar closes at 11pm, there’s no legal reason to have a”last call”. also, they have a rule where they give “locals” preference. what does that really mean? do they check your address on your drivers license and then make non-locals give up their seats?? basically, i think these guys just wanted to have something quirky and interesting about their bar, but instead their rules are just kind of lame.
Bar 821 is at 821 Divisadero St in San Francisco
We were walking towards “The Page”, a bar that we’ve been to a bunch of times, when we randomly noticed the sign for club waziema across the street. what was this mysterious place? was it a club? was it a restaurant? what does the saxophone on the bar’s sign have to do with anything? our curiosity got the best of us, and we wandered in.
the place turned out to not be a club at all, but more of a bar/restaurant. we tried one of their specialty drinks: the bourbon decay which was Makers mixed with ginger ale and lemon. hella good. caryn got some mango drink that was really good too. the drinks were fairly cheap and pretty strong. but what really made this place cool was that the people who worked there were super nice. everyone behind the bar was way friendly and when they found out that it was our friend’s birthday, they played a happy birthday song over the speakers. everyone there genuinely seemed to want us to have a great time, even though it was 1:30 am, only half an hour before closing.
apparently during the day, they also serve Ethiopian food, but from the reviews I’ve read, I can’t imagine it being too good…
Club Waziema is at 543 Divisadero Street in San Francisco