Can one person drink at every bar in San Francisco?

Butter – SOMA

Butter is a white trash themed bar, which is quite a strange thing for someone of actual Southern redneck heritage to experience. I grew up in the South, and I’ve been to many trashy dive bars, and I have to say that Butter has very little in common with the real deal. Trust me, for the most part this is a very good thing.

First of all, Butter has an extensive menu of redneck themed cocktails, each of which is far too girlie and complicated to be found in any self respecting shitty bar in the South, (many dives have little more than well whiskey and Budweiser.) Several of the drinks sound intriguing, but I can’t bring myself to drink anything made with Smirnoff flavored vodka. Butter has decent beers on tap though, and they offer a good happy hour deal.

Another detail that stands out to me as out of place at a redneck bar is the fact that the bartenders are total sweethearts to everyone. Not only do they offer service with a smile to one of the youngest, loudest, most obnoxious crowds I have ever seen at a bar in SF, they kick total ass at karaoke. And the karaoke itself is fantastic. Hosted by the infamous Roger Niner, karaoke at Butter is a raucous affair every Sunday night at 8:30. Roger Niner’s song list is one of the best in town, and the sound system makes everyone sound like a star.

Butter offers a redneck bar menu, with foods carefully chosen to compliment their specialty cocktails. Some of the highlights include chili cheese tater tots, deep fried mac & cheese, deep fried Twinkie, White Castle cheeseburgers and Frito pie.

Overall I would say that Butter is a fun place to go early in the evening, but in my experience, it gets completely filled with a very young, very wasted Ed Hardy clad crowd that tend to be too loud and aggressive to ignore. During this last visit I overheard a young lady say the following to the bartender: “I’d like a drink that’s like sugary and like will totally make me throw up!” Yeah, it’s like that. But the Frito pie and deep fried mac might just be worth braving the crowd.


354 11th St
(between Folsom St & Harrison St)
San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: SOMA

(415) 863-5964


3 responses

  1. Sean

    Totally agree. I’ve only ever popped in here infrequently. (Mostly to kill time with friends before a show at Slim’s across the street.) The earlier the better for this place, yeah. The clientele becomes only slightly more dealable than what can be gawked at, say, waiting in line at Holy Cow. But the bartenders truly are amazingly nice.

    July 10, 2010 at 10:34 am

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  3. As an transplanted Southern myself I completely agree with your analysis of Butter to a tee. If it were not for the “very young, very wasted Ed Hardy clad crowd” I think I would want to go back and hang here far more often.

    February 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm

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