Visitor wants a special place to have a drink
Thanks to all for the great places to eat on our visit, but now I am looking for a place to have a drink.
I'm looking for a great scene, place, ambiance to have a couple drinks. Real San Francisco, local hangouts. Not necessarily posh, just genuine. A hole in the wall will work. Maybe full of some interesting people. Hey maybe some serious bar flys too.
We will be at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival at Golden gate park, so close to there would also work, but we can cruise to find that special place. Hey maybe we can meet you for a drink...
Thanks. Looking forward to coming back to your great city.
I can think a few places. Mejool has a cool roof top patio and mod interior , The Redwood Room, very old boy posh, The 500 club, Mission hipster hang out, with some long time regulars, and Bourbon & Branch great drinks secrete speakeasy atmosphere. I imagine you will many more suggestions we have a lot of great watering holes.
Trad'r Sam's on Geary and 25th might be the closest place with "ambiance", where
that ambiance is primarily ancient, worn-out tiki. Rum drinks. Often hopelessly crowded.
Despite that it has great potential for a memorable-in-a-good-way evening.
Did you sell your Vespa to buy a fixie? In that case, Medjool's bare-bones rooftop
might be the place for you. Otherwise in the Mission, the Uptown at 17th and
Capp is a pretty genuine hole-in-the-wall (if not simply a hole) hangout -- you can
watch the hookers right outside the big window. Or maybe the getting-to-be-
quite-a-classic Rite Spot on Folsom and 17th a couple of blocks away. Rite Spot
has actual often-tasty food too.
"a great scene, place, ambiance" and "real San Francisco local hangouts" isn't really that specific. So I guess it sorta depends on what scene you are looking for.
Nopa, Toronado, Zeitgeist and Rite Spot are all good suggestions - and all fit the criteria, because real San Franciscans go to all of them - but the scenes in each of those 4 are COMPLETELY different. So maybe the OP can be more specific about what he/she would ideally be drinking...and the sorts of people he/she'd want to be drinking with :)
Regardless, I'd skip Medjool.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Rite Spot to a visitor, since it's a bit random and not really destinationworthy, but I enjoyed it the one time I went, and some friends of mine are regulars. Apparently Friday pie nights are back, and I've heard the pie is good:
re: Dave MP
I second the skip Medjool vote. Also, a month ago I passed something tacked to a telephone pole on Valencia Street that was a flyer from Medjool management to "save Medjool". No idea what it was about but I advise checking first if it's still open if anyone has a hankering to go....
vulber has a good point - my negative association with Medjool does mainly have to do with the scene later in the evening, when it's a club.
I guess earlier it would be pleasant enough, but aside from a potential rooftop view, there's nothing that special about it I don't think. I like many of the other options because they are experiences that are harder to find elsewhere.
You might check out these, all close to GG Park, although the park is a big place and has several different "sides" and hoods surrounding. All are pretty much SF.
Zam Zam - very SF but I'll let someone else describe it...gets play on TV shows.
540 Club - very local, dive-ish in a clean way, turned a bit hipster
Cliff House - Ocean view on a cliff, can get touristy but the later you go, the quieter it gets
There's also a few Irish pubs on Geary/20th.
Sutro's at The Cliff House
1090 Point Lobos Ave., San Francisco, CA 94121
Persian Aub Zam Zam
1633 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
San Francisco, CA, San Francisco, CA
After the Bluegrass festival you can go south on Great Hiway to the Riptide Bar, 3639 Taraval just a few blocks from the beach. The original bar is steeped in history and it's full of locals.
Bourbon & Branch is a serious endeavor, but I think it's the opposite of "genuine" and the concept was imported from New York.
Some real local hangouts:
242 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Tommy's Mexican Restaurant
5929 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121
Pig and Whistle
2801 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118
547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA
199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103
3200 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
688 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
950 Geary St, San Francisco, CA
4100 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA
2155 Market Place Blvd, Cumming, GA 30041