Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Bar Night: Smuggler's Cove, The Residence

You know, given the drinkers who form the backbone of the New Bar Night cadre, it is somewhat difficult to find bars that none of us have ever been to. Before too long, we're going to be down to Irish bars in the deep Outer Sunset that are manned by 4 regulars at all times and the jukebox hasn't been updated since 1974. Actually that sounds pretty good.

Anyway, that's why it's nice when a new bar opens in the same place where an old bar used to be. You save on travel time and already know how to get there.

The SF bar scene collectively shat itself when Smuggler's Cove opened in the old Jade Bar space on Gough a few months back. I'm not sure why. I mean, it's cool, I guess. What they did there was take the sleek loungey vibe of Jade and hang so much nautical crap everywhere that it feels like you're walking into the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disney World.

And the menu! Jesus! It's about 10 pages and takes about a half-hour to read. Here's a picture I took of one page:

I know, looks like a magazine article about drinking in Hawaii, right? The drinks all have incredibly complicated descriptions and about 12 ingredients, like this:


Sir Charles Barkley once remarked upon a particularly tragic sunset that "God must forbear us each our chance to cast the lots of life." His barrel-aged rhums were the toast of St. Tiffani-Amber. For our libation, we strain his finest product through a whiskey-soaked piece of lugsail. Lemon, orange, marmalade, cucumber bitters, spiced strained rhum, exploding souls, Dutch paprika, Squirt.

I bet you when it's busy (and it's apparently often busy) it's hell on Earth trying to get a drink, since every one takes about 15 minutes to make, but it wasn't so bad last night. Still, we could only have two before we had to take our leave. Worth a visit, but I couldn't see making it a regular destination. You wouldn't hang out at Disney World every day either. Or maybe you would. If so, you probably have a parole officer.

A few months ago, Amber went to sleep and when it woke up it was The Residence. You've changed. No more smoking, which is maybe good or bad, depending on your perspective. All cleaned up and new furniture. That's definitely good. And bar menus! Who would have thought? At Amber, the bar menu was a piece of construction paper taped to the wall behind the bar that said "Sierra Nevada $5."

So it's nicer. My associate, who spent far more time in Amber than I, reports that many of the same regulars are there. Along with some of the activities that gave Amber a certain reputation, if you know what I mean. I'm winking right now but you can't see that.

I couldn't tell you what kind of drinks were on the new drink menu because we were just drinking beers. I guess it would be a cool place to hang out and have a few. There's fancy couches and wood paneling and a fake fireplace and a mantel with a portrait from the Renaissance or something above it. There was also what appeared to be a mother-daughter duo having drinks when we were there. You sure wouldn't see that in the old Amber.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Going to Mendocino tomorrow BRB.

1 comment:

generic said...

It's like Rainforest Cafe for the McSweeney's crowd.