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stylish bar/lounge

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A friend is coming to visit from LA next weekend. She lives in Hollywood and gets plenty of time in the trendy clubs there, so doesn't need to replicate that experience here. I'd like to take her to a nice bar or lounge in San Francisco, preferably downtown or the Mission. Ideally this would be a place with some style but not super-trendy with VIP bottle service or any of that kind of "ultra" scene. I tend more towards ordinary bars so I'm not sure what the "nice" places are. Maybe one of the speakeasy-style places? I don't know.

This will be on a Saturday night and we'd be more into hanging out with a cocktail rather than dancing.

Any ideas?

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  1. I love Nihon Whiskey Lounge.

    1. Otis Lounge on Maiden Lane. Fifth Floor. Orson. Pied Piper at the Palace Hotel.

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

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

      Palace Hotel
      2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA

      Otis Lounge
      25 Maiden Lane, San Francisco, CA

      1. The bar at Le Colonial is good. It's near Union Square, not far from downtown.

        1. Gitane. Really nice cocktails & unusual wines, gorgeously designed space, but not a scene. Belden lane is fun to show to out of towners too.

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          Gitane Restaurant & Bar
          6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. SF is not quite as poserish as Hollywood, but I'd suggest Bourbon and Branch. Very speakeasyish

            1. 15 Romolo
              Rickhouse
              Burrit Room
              Comstock Saloon

              All will be busy later on Sat night but would be great for a well made cocktail early on in the evening.

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              15 Romolo
              15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133

              Rickhouse Bar
              246 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA

              Comstock Saloon
              155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

              1. Bix at least I thought it was a stylish bar a while ago. Has it changed?

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                Bix
                56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

                1 Reply
                1. re: wolfe

                  no. it's timeless.

                2. Bix is indeed an excellent choice, but the bar may be crowded unless it's fairly early or fairly late. Another excellent choice is the 5th Floor bar. Never crowded, at least in my experience. And there's a new bar manager who's creating custom cocktails based on whatever fresh market ingredients strike her fancy. She's tattooed, too, so you can't get much hipper than that. And the place is quite classy.

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                  Bix
                  56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133