Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Bars That Time Forgot, an occasional series, vol III: Great Water Bar & Cafe

(In The Bars That Time Forgot, we will, on occasion, pause to remember a drinking place that has shuffled off this mortal coil.)

This installment is a twofer and has a surprise twist ending!

Great Water Bar & Cafe was, incongruously, a bar with a Thai restaurant inside.  

I couldn't find any actual pictures of Great Water.  This is what 373 Broadway looks like now, anyway.
In fact, now that I think about it, almost everything about Great Water was incongruous.  It was at 373 Broadway - where today sits uber-utzy Coi, a fancy-pants restaurant where dinner costs $195 and features things like "fermented carrot" - which is in the heart of the Strip Club and Douchebag Dance Club District (next door to Centerfolds, in fact), but had nothing in common with establishments of that type.  No doorman, no oonce oonce music, no fancy cocktails.  Just drinks and pool and Thai food served through a window in the back.  I used to live up the hill in North Beach and went there pretty regularly because it was one of the least annoying bars in North Beach and that's really saying something.

Inside it seemed like they were going for sort of a British colonial Caribbean theme, with ferns and lots of wood and high ceilings.  There were a couple of pool tables and an excellent bartender named Tim who was affable and remembered what you like.  A couple of years after Great Water closed, I ran into Tim smoking outside Elixir on 16th (and coincidentally, Elixir will feature in an upcoming episode of Bars That Time Forgot) and he said he'd gotten a job on a cruise ship.  Hopefully things worked out for Maritime Tim.

As I mentioned, there was a window in the back wall from whence one could order and receive Thai food.  I never ate there so I don't know what the deal with that was.  

I'm not sure when Great Water closed. Maybe around 2005?  I guess there was nothing that special about it - it certainly wasn't a destination bar - but it was the kind of place you'd automatically feel comfortable in and it was a nice respite in a part of town with lots and lots of bars but very few you'd actually want to spend any time in.  

WHOA WAIT A SECOND.  I was just doing some followup Googling and discovered to my surprise that this same location was also home to something called "Bierhaus on Broadway"!  In fact, this guy recommends it, says they have "over 100 microbrews," and, amazingly enough, says, "The bartender Tim, was very helpful between free sample shots and other brewpubs and breweries to visit."  I assume Bierhaus on Broadway was before Great Water (that review is from 1995), so I guess Tim came with the bar!  


Tamagosan said...

Somehow, surely inspired by espresso and This Darn Heat, I now have a song called Maritime Tim in my head, sung to the tune of Runaround Sue. The actual lyrics are fuzzy...

Coi is actually one of those fancy-pants restaurants that I wouldn't mind going to, but --quelle surprise-- a $195-shaped hole has never appeared in my dining budget. Plus, The Professor claims a white tablecloth allergy.

I know the name is supposed to be Froggy for "chill", which it is (well, Old Froggy) but I can't look at it without seeing the French acronym for "indirect object", which is much less chill...

KBN said...

Please tell me you were able to see Jawbreaker at Brave New World. Memories!

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