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May 3, 2010 09:12 AM

NICE Bar suggestions in SF?

I want to go to a bar in SF either on a Friday or Saturday night. I want to go to a bar in the NICE areas of SF. Nothing ghetto please. Does anyone have any suggestions? Dont really want the club scene but just a nice bar to get some drinks at! I do love Vodka so any martini bar suggestions? Also needs to have beer and Jack Daniels! :0) Thanks for you help!

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  1. What would you consider the NICE areas of SF, and not too ghetto at all? Is ghetto referring to a music style, property values on the block, or patrons in the bar?

    All of the dives, and cheapest to moderate priced bars in SF will serve both beer and Jack Daniels. Some of the NICEST bars in town will only have a small selection of bottled beer and not serve Jack Daniels at all.

    Jack Daniels--and the 'Jack and Coke' is seen by some as simply too common. I think their recent co-branding of supermarket bbq sauces and TGIF food-like products isn't helping the image either. I would mostly fault Jack Daniels for lowering their alcohol content the past decade, but not lowering their prices accordingly.

    How do you usually drink your Tennessee whiskey?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jumbo_Jack

      Ok by ghetto I mean not in a bad area of town where I need to be constantly looking over my back when I leave the place in hopes I dont get mugged. Dont really want a dive bar either. I am going there for my anniversary so that is why I want a nice bar in a good part of town. And I like my Grey Goose Vodka with Cranberry juice and Pineapple juice and I like my Jack with Coke!

      1. re: crystalrae

        As Jumbo Jack says, you might want to avoid the places that usually get recommended as the best bars on this board, since they might not have Jack, Coke, or Grey Goose (though if you tell them what you like they'll come up with something you might like even better).

        Pacific Heights is probably the best upscale neighborhood to find bars with nice atmosphere and normal drinks.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Thanks for the suggestion. I will always try a new good vodka if the bartender suggests it! Thanks!

          1. re: crystalrae

            The one vodka you should really try is Hangar One. It's locally produced, so most good bars in the Bay Area carry it (I've seen it in NYC and Vegas, but it's way less ubiquitous than Grey Goose). The plain vodka is actually so good I can sip it straight, at room temperature. It's made partly from viognier, so it has a lovely, floral flavor - order it on the rocks. It's too good to mask with cranberry.

            Their Mandarin Blossom and Raspberry vodkas are really good too - they can hold up to being mixed with soda.

            If you drink Jack and Coke, maybe you'll be open to bourbon based cocktails? There are a lot of good ones out there.

            1. re: daveena

              I am for sure going to try that one when I go! Thanks for the suggestion! I am going to try it straight and sip it just like you said. Thanks!

    2. Pied Piper in the Palace Hotel

      Bourbon and Branch

      You can do way better than Jack. Stretch yourself. Try Elijah Craig.

      Pied Piper Bar
      Market New Montgomery, San Francisco, CA 94102

      Palace Hotel
      2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Andrew H

        We are Tennessee people so Jack is just our hometown thing to always have! But I will try Elijah Craig sometimes. Always up for trying new things. Thanks for the suggestions!

      2. you may want to check out some hotel bars - Americano, Redwood Room...some of the better lounges/bars typically reside in places like the Mission and SOMA. I have been incredibly underwhelmed by lounges and bars in the "nicer" parts of SF (Marina, Pac Heights, Cow Hollow).

        3 Replies
        1. re: vis

          I love the hotel bar idea! They do always have some great bars. Great suggestion! Thanks a bunch!

          1. re: crystalrae

            crystalrae, I think the hotel bars, and Bix, might give you just what your looking for.

            56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

          2. re: vis

            Also adding Clock Bar in the Westin St Francis and XYZ in the W hotel.

            Non-hotel bars -- Bix, Waterbar, and Jillian's.

            56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

            181 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. Seasons at the Four Seasons
              Le Club
              Matrix Fillmore (though it might be too much of a scene)

              Four Seasons Restaurant
              1163 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129

              Le Club
              1250 Jones St Ste 100, San Francisco, CA 94109

              1. re: tvham

                I love Seasons -- it's very classy
                Fifth Floor (in the Palomar) also has a nice bar
                I'm a sucker for the atrium in the Hyatt Regency on the Embarcadero -- seems like the kind of place that's not to snobby to serve Jack and Coke, plus it's pretty down there at night.

                Fifth Floor Restaurant
                12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103

            2. Special occasion, likes vodka, you should be at the Top of the Mark. Old school room, page of martinis. Or the clock bar in the fairmont. "mmmm, classy"

              Since there are hundreds and hundreds of "nice bars" in san francisco, you'd be better off saying what part of town you'd like, and getting a suggestion. Like that nice lounge on Noe with the fireplace, or Pier 23.

              Don't forget some of the best bars are at good restaurants. I'm fond of the bar at the Globe, although they don't have jack. Boulevard's bar is quite nice, and they might have jack.

              Don't go to bourbon and branch. They will make fun of you mercilessly.

              Top of the Mark
              Number One Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA 94108

              Pier 23 Cafe
              The Embarcadero and Union St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              2 Replies
              1. re: bbulkow

                Have res @ Bourbon and Branch on Thursday - hope they don't make fun of me :) I read the rules carefully and have told the people we're going with, no frou-frou, no cosmos... I am there to be educated =P

                1. re: SanJoseHound

                  That's a good attitude, there will be a nice list of their signature cocktails, order one and enjoy. If that kind of experience ends up pleasing you, there are several dozen places with similarly excellent well-designed cocktails - just don't ask for substitutions.