Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,782 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#2087 - Fizzee's, San Francisco - 3/1/2013

I would like to tell you all the interesting things the owner Yung told me about this bar. But I lost my notes, my memory's generally terrible, and this was far too late into my bar crawl to recollect much in any case. But the pictures remind me that they do have a car on the wall and a pretty bartender whose dishwashing gloves match her dress. You don't see that combination every day.

3954 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118 -- (415) 221-7300
Reviews: yelp

#2086 - Abbey Tavern, San Francisco - 3/1/2013

The Abbey Tavern seems to bounce between Irish pub (with Celtic music and poetry readings), sports bar, college bar, and nightclub. I suppose it is just an Irish-themed neighborhood joint, trying awkwardly to embrace whatever seems like it will pull in 22-year-old guys

It is not particularly old nor particularly new. It is not a classic Irish pub, nor one of the soul-less knockoffs just hanging the same old Guiness posters. It is not a classic sports bar, nor a bad choice to catch a game. I didn't love it, nor did I hate it.
Wall decoration, Abbey Tavern, San Francisco
Animated conversation in Abbey Tavern, San Francisco

4100 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118 - (415) 221-7767
Est. 1997
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp

#2085 - Would You Believe?, San Francisco - 3/1/2013

Not particularly interesting for me.

4652 Geary Blvd San Francisco, CA 94118 - (415) 752-7444
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp

Sunday, October 27, 2013

#2084 - The Hearth, San Francisco - 3/1/2013

The Hearth has basically everything you want in a classic dive bar. It is dark; it has a mix of people including several older, local regulars; it has an oddball collection of decorations that have accrued with no particular theme; and it is old.  I'm not sure how old it is, but the previous owner Sid owned it for 40 years before selling it in 2007, and there is a photo that appears to show it several years before that (1959).  One thing it doesn't appear to have is a hearth -- at least the kind with real stone and real fire -- although a faux version flickers in a corner festooned with trophies and red curtains. Apparently there are sometimes open mike comedy performances there, but when I arrived there were just a few other people and friendly bartender Texie.

Ray Rex bought the place from Sid, added some German touches, and had his copyrighted description painted on the outside: "No Whiners, No Website, Just Booze"©  That works for me.

4701 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118 - (415) 751-0200
Reviews: sfgateyelp - sfbarkast

#2083 - McKenzie's Bar, San Francisco - 3/1/2013

5320 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121 - (415) 379-6814
Web site: facebook
Reviews: everybarinsf - yelp

#2082 - The Nags Head, San Francisco - 3/1/2013

The Nags Head appears to be basically a dive for beginner drinkers, with candy flavored drinks named for desserts, candies, and various sexual acts ("Bubble Gum," "Chocolate Cake," "Blow Job").

5346 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121 - (415) 387-9510                  
Reviews: brokeassstuart - yelp

Saturday, October 26, 2013

#2081 - Tommy's Mexican, San Francisco -3/1/2013

Well, as of this night, and my chat with Julio, I no longer order salt on my margaritas. Tommy's was opened in 1965 by Tommy Bermejo, serving Mexican and Yutatecan food in the Richmond district. But it was Tommy's son Julio, who now runs the place and tends bar, who made it an international destination and a mecca for tequila and margarita lovers.

I started with the famous Tommy's Margarita. The small bar and restaurant were packed while I was there, but Julio still made the time to give me a tequila class, setting out various samples of the largest collection of 100% agave tequilas outside of Mexico. We talked tequila, and bars, and bartenders and when I left he gave me a Tommy's shot glass. It was a very fine night out at the bar.

5929 Geary Blvd San Francisco, CA 94121 - (415) 387-4747
Est. 1965
Web site: tommysmexican.comfacebook
Reviews: sfgate - sfweekly - foodrepublic - esquire - grubstreet - yelp - partyearth

#2080 - Trad'r Sam, San Francisco - 3/1/2013

Opened by Sam Baden in 1937, Trad'r Sam is the oldest tiki bar in the world. The old "bamboo bar" pre-dates the Don The Beachcombers and Trader Vic's, which started the tiki trend. It remains as a comfortable neighborhood dive, retaining the tiki decor and serving tropical drinks and scorpion bowls to a mostly younger crowd. The sign outside no longer lights up, which was partly disappointing, and but also satisfyingly apropos for such a genuine, old dive.

6150 Geary Blvd San Francisco, CA 94121 - (415) 221-0773
Est. 1937
Reviews: critiki - sfexaminertikicentral - sfweekly - yelp - foggedinlounge

#2079 - Jamber Wine Pub, San Francisco - 3/1/2013

A nice, woody, casual spot on Folsom that serves updated comfort food, craft beers and several wines on tap (no bottles).

858 Folsom St San Francisco, CA 94107 - (415) 273-9192
Est. year - Sep 28, 2012
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: grubstreet - grubstreet - eater - yelp

Saturday, October 05, 2013

#2078 - Pied Piper, San Francisco - 2/28/2013

Parrish's "Pied Piper of Hamelin," shortly before 2013 restoration
The Pied Piper was established in 1909 in the reconstructed Palace Hotel (after the great quake). The original Palace Hotel, built in 1875, hosted presidents Grant, Harrison, McKinley, and Teddy Roosevelt. The new hotel has hosted presidents Taft, Harding, FDR, and Clinton -- with Warren Harding passing away there. It's also hosted Oscar Wilde and Sarah Bernhardt, who arrived with her pet baby tiger.

For the opening of the Pied Piper Bar in the newly constructed Palace, Maxfield Parrish was commissioned to create a 16 foot long by 6 foot tall painting, which has resided behind the bar with limited interruptions every since. One of those interruptions came shortly after my visit, as the hotel concluded that it did not make sense to keep an artwork worth millions of dollars sitting behind a bar. But a public outcry ensued, thousands of signatures were gathered protesting the move, and the owners subsequently changed their minds and returned the painting after some restoration work.

A bar tender in the old version of the hotel wrote one of the definitive books on cocktails in 1891, William T. Boothby's "Cocktail Boothby's American Bartender: The Only Practical Treatise on the Art of Mixology Published."  (Yes, the term "mixology" dates back to the 19th century.) The current bar maintains a focus on the classics, and provides one of the more elegant settings in the city to sip a drink.

2 New Montgomery St San Francisco, CA 94105 - (415) 512-1111
Est. December 19, 1909 - Building constructed: 1909 (previous building 1875)
Previous bars in this location:
Web site:
Reviews: sfgate - examiner - wikipedia - sfheritage - blackbook - yelp

#2077 - Zero Zero, San Francisco - 2/28/2013

Upscale ‘Calipolitan’ pizzas, various small plates, and some nice, barrel-aged cocktails.

826 Folsom St San Francisco, CA 94107 - (415) 348-8800
Est. July 7, 2010
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: sfgatechow - yelp - tripadvisor