Way back, San Francisco’s Barbary Coast was a vibrant spot—think gold rush-era mingling with the Roaring ’20s. A bustling mix of miners, sailors, and not-so-squeaky-clean characters made this their home. But beyond the shady rep, it set the stage for a cocktail revolution—turning drinks into more than just sips but an entire show.
Josh Harris: The Cocktail Guru
Meet Josh Harris, the master behind Trick Dog, a place that’s all about infusing each cocktail with San Francisco’s rich history. He’s got the lowdown on the best spots in the city for a stellar drink.
Comstock Saloon: Where History Comes Alive
The Comstock Saloon, born in 1907, is like a time machine to the Barbary Coast era. Restored to its former glory in 2010, it’s a blend of old-school vibes and modern charisma. Sip on a Sazerac while indulging in their signature burger or fresh oysters. Plus, live jazz nights amp up the fun factor.
Tadich Grill: A Historic Delight
For a taste of history, hit up Tadich Grill in the Financial District. Since 1849, this seafood hotspot’s been serving classic cocktails and killer seafood. A dry martini here is a must. Heads up, it’s first-come, first-served for seats, so snagging a spot is a hot race.
Bix: Hidden Gem Extraordinaire
Bix is your ticket to the 1930s Barbary Coast charm. Wander through Jackson Square, step into a swanky world of Art Deco elegance. Their cocktails, like the BIX Sidecar, are a hit. Jazz tunes and modern American bites set the mood just right.
Moongate Lounge: A Modern Twist
Welcome to the Moongate Lounge, a chic ode to the Barbary Coast in Chinatown. Since 2016, it’s been a hot spot for tantalizing cocktails and Brandon Jew’s delectable bites from Mister Jiu’s downstairs. Sip on Lunar Calendar-inspired drinks while soaking in the swanky vibes.
Li Po Cocktail Lounge: Dive Bar Delight
Li Po Cocktail Lounge is a throwback to the Barbary Coast’s Chinatown nightlife. Little’s changed since the ’30s, preserving that dive bar charm. Behind those red double doors lies a neon-lit space serving up killer Mai Tais. It’s the kind of spot where strangers become pals over lethal cocktails.
The Vibe: Old Meets New
In these spots, old San Francisco merges seamlessly with the modern era, preserving the spirit of a bygone era. Whether it’s jazz tunes or inventive cocktails, each spot tells a unique story of the city’s rich past, making every sip a journey through time.