Can one person drink at every bar in San Francisco?

The Black Horse London Pub

The Black Horse is an exceedingly tiny pub; I heard a rumor that it is the smallest in the Western world, with the exception of one pub in London. The amazing thing is how the owner managed to condense everything I love about bars into such a teeny spot.

The only thing The Black Horse is missing is a hard liquor license, but they have a great selection of European and local beers stocked in a vintage bathtub behind the narrow bar. There is also one tap connected to a very cute mini-keg. With such a tight space, everyone in the bar can’t help but meet the other patrons, which is part of the magic of the place. I went there alone for an after work drink and within ten minutes had five new friends and within an hour had entered into friendly arguments with each one of them. Even the water closet is munchkin sized as evidenced by the following sign:

I honestly think that The Black Horse is one of the most fantastic bars I have ever had the joy of experiencing. I feel nothing I write could quite do it justice. It’s a drinking experience unrivaled by any others.

The Black Horse London Pub

1514 Union St (at Van Ness)
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 928-2414

5 responses

  1. Excellent post !

    July 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

  2. Sean C.

    I’ve mentally bookmarked to pop into this place at some point, since it reminds of “The Littlest Bar” in Boston. RIP and a crime that it was displaced in order to cough up tired condos. Here’s hoping this pocket pub never suffers a similar fate.

    July 28, 2010 at 11:00 am

  3. Sean C.

    Whoops. Sorry for the double post. Earlier in the day, WordPress was actually like the posts had never gone through.

    July 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm

  4. The original owner of this bar moved to Seattle in the early ’00s and opened the similarly-themed White Horse Trading Company near Pike Place Market. Well worth visiting if you’re in the area.

    August 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm

  5. Nigel

    One of the best bars I have ever been to and yet another reason why I love SF so much. Part of the appeal of the place is how the owner, James, makes everyone feel so welcome.

    February 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

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