Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Bar Night: Mission Edition

A couple of days ago, my friend Stephen made a good point. "All these bars keep opening," he said, "but the existing ones never get any less crowded." Then he said "Do you think people from the Philippines get confused about Tagalong Girl Scout cookies and think they're really Tagalog cookies?" He didn't really say the second part. I'm taking some artistic license there. But he did say the first part, or words to that effect. If all these places keep opening (specifically in the Mission) where are all the people coming from who keep filling them? Why aren't the existing bars any less crowded?

SPEAKING OF MORE BARS, there are some new-ish bars in the Mission District of San Francisco, so I assembled my crack New Bar Night Team - ok, I assembled Olu - and we went out to evaluate.

The first place we went was Mosto, the little bar that's attached to Tacolicious, the famed Marina quasi-Mexi-food purveyor that recently opened an outpost on Valencia, to the consternation and wailing of the Missionites, who saw it as an invasion of their turf by the Marinaites and whatnot. Anyway, FEAR NOT, MISSIONITES. It's not that bad. I mean, it's not dirtbaggy like Pop's, everyone looks like they've taken a shower in the last few days/isn't strung out/is wearing clothing that doesn't look like it came out of a dumpster, but it's not like Fraternity Night at Blue Light either. It's basically a long narrow dark room with good cocktails and some interesting bar snacks. I had this thing with tequila and lime and ginger beer and something that made it red and I don't even like tequila and it was really good. Probably wouldn't make a special trip here, and it really does seem more like a waiting room for Tacolicious next door than anything else, but if I were walking by and it wasn't crowded I might come back.

We then embarked to Southern Pacific Brewing, the vast new brewpub/restaurant that opened recently on Treat near 19th. It's kind of tricky to find but if you keep going south on 19th past Homestead and then turn on Treat you'll find it. We followed a drunk girl who was yelling to her male companions "I WILL NEVER GO DOWN ON A CHICK" just as we arrived at the place, so I hope they weren't holding out for some of that. Anyway. SPB is in a HUGE steel former warehouse or factory or airplane hangar or something and it's all very new and clean and looks like the kind of place you'd see on a Travel Channel special about Hot New Places to Go in San Francisco. There are a bunch of communal tables inside and a medium-ish patio outside that will be fucking MOBBED on nice afternoons, let me guarantee you. Pretty clean-cut crowd. Olu met an actual Marina Girl when he was outside smoking, so there's that. I liked it. We tried pretty much all the beers, and the Pale Ale was my fave. It's THREE BUCKS. Three dollars for the pale ale! Can you imagine?

Photo by Clara S. from Yelp. Hope you don't mind, Clara S.

Onward. Our third and final stop was Dear Mom, on 16th and Harrison. We walked in and immediately we were like WHOA THE INTERNET IS HERE. Not surprising, I guess, since this place has gotten lots of blog love. That's the most links I've ever shoved into two sentences. Anyway, yeah, I can see it. Plenty of room. Convivial surroundings. Not too long to wait for drinks. Definitely the youngest bar of the night. In fact, as Olu pointed out, you could do the entire Cycle of Life in these three places - Dear Mom to Southern Pacific to Mosto.

Thus concludes New Bar Night.


amy.leblanc said...

went by Dear Mom last night after midnight and it looked very crowded by a very hipstery looking crew. i hadn't been yet but i think now it's too late.

if you want to go to new bars in downtown/uptown oakland, may i suggest: Make Westing (bocce ball and also v. good food), Penelope (tiny but cool), Dogwood, MUA, Bar 355 and Room 389. all have good drinks. all are crowded on weekends but chiller Mon-Thurs, although we went to Make Westing last Weds and it was surprisingly crowded for a Wed night.

Era is also a good early bar but often turns into a clubbier scene after 10 weekends that i'm not into.

+good down/uptown bars that aren't new: Radio Bar, the bar inside Flora, and always the Cafe Van Kleef. and for beer only? The Trappist wins.

TK said...

Thanks for the recs, Amy. Now, Oakland is the one after Embarcadero and before Ashby, right?

I like the name "Make Westing," but what does it mean?

amy.leblanc said...

it's a jack london quote:

SW said...

The brewery might be in an old foundry, but I can't tell from here (Google maps and Yelp photos from across the pond) if it's the same building that my ex and I got a look at one night while on a walk/break from the Homestead. The ex lives in an old foundry so we were observing this one on Treat, and the guy who lives/works there (the brewery? or next door?) happened to come by, showed us around, and talked about the history and his months of clean-up that went into it. Anyway, even if the brewery is the next door building, still likely part of the old foundry.