Can one person drink at every bar in San Francisco?

Smuggler’s Cove – Hayes Valley

My second stop on my night out outside of the Castro was Smuggler’s Cove. I have to say I love how they have renovated the space; gone are the cool green tiles of Jade, in are warm wooden textures everywhere and an over-the-top tiki/pirate theme. Also missing are the usual rows of flavored Stoli and Absolute, in their place rums from around the world and lots of rare liquors.

Obviously, I have been to a lot of bars and tried a lot of cocktails; in addition to this project, I am a bartender by trade myself. And I can say without a doubt that Smuggler’s Cove has the best cocktails I have ever tried. I tasted every single one of my friends’ drinks, and they were consistently well balanced, creative, and delicious.

The bartender didn’t miss a beat when I went off menu and ordered a silver rum fizz; he even added a few extra ingredients to make my drink just that much better. We had originally planned only to stay for one, but we ended up gabbing with the bar crew and drinking fancy cocktails until we were quite pleasantly buzzed.

We were even provided with entertainment, by way of a 20-something yuppie who spent 20 minutes arguing with the bartender and then the manager about why he shouldn’t be charged extra for a double. As we heard him say about thirty times, he was from L.A. and according to him bartenders in L.A. would never charge extra for a double. He was oblivious to our uproarious laughter until one of the bar patrons handed him a tampon and told him he probably needed it more than her. At this point he finally stopped telling everyone about the supposed drinking customs in L.A. and went downstairs, only after challenging her to fisticuffs! To the bar’s credit, all of the staff were extremely polite throughout this whole ordeal. At my bar he would have been out the door.

Next time I go to Smuggler’s Cove we are for sure ordering something in these:

Smuggler’s Cove

650 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 869-1900
*** All photos in this post by thaumatrope.

6 responses

  1. bravo. a great post about a great bar. Loved this line:

    “He was oblivious to our uproarious laughter until one of the bar patrons handed him a tampon and told him he probably needed it more than her.” +10000 points.

    and the use of the word “fisticuffs” earns +10000 points too

    April 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm

  2. T.


    April 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm

  3. I think he should have been charged TRIPLE for being a douche and ruining a respectable cocktail.

    Also, I think I should get a camelback and fill it with Norwegian Paralysis so that I may partake of it’s deliciousness at any moment I desire. Which would be often. You may see me stumbling around a bit and slurring my words.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm

  4. Sean C.

    I find it hilariously next-to-impossible to believe that L.A., of all places, would *not* charge more for a double. Especially the swanky douchebag magnet type of joints this entitled yupster no doubt frequents. (I’m sure the ‘single’ price for a drink at such establishments is what a double would be in most cool divey bars in SF, goes w/o saying.) I guess he won’t have valet pocket money when weekending up here. [sad face]

    April 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm

  5. Tampon-guy is almost as funny as the guy on the Smuggler’s Facebook page that was so offended at having to wait for admission (the bar has limited capacity), even though he was a LONG TIME HAYES VALLEY RESIDENT. Must have forgot to bring his passport and signet ring!

    April 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

  6. Pingback: Booze Cruise « The San Francisco Bar Experiment

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