The Occidental Cigar Club
The Occidental Cigar Club was 100% off of my radar. In fact, if Rickhouse hadn’t randomly decided to open at 5:00 p.m. that day, (it says noon on their website and the bartender said they usually open at 4:00,) I might never have gone. Luckily, the lovely and infamous Laura B. was meeting me for drinks and was able to find us an alternate bar via her newfangled phone, although I did have my hesitations about the bar at first.
The reason I had walked right past this place before, was that I thought at best they might have beer and wine to go with their cigars. I had no idea that the owners were hiding a way a tiny, classic wooden bar with all the fixings. Stepping into Occidental is like walking into an exclusive gentlemen’s club, full of billowing smoke and businessmen drinking alone or playing dice with the barkeep after a hard day at work.
Despite the boys club vibe, I felt welcome having a drink at the bar. The bartenders were no nonsense about the booze and smokes, but friendly none the less. I made the mistake of mentioning the fact that I don’t care for cigars within their hearing, and while one of the bartenders raised his eyebrow at me, they graciously didn’t give me the boot. It’s comforting to know there is a good, solid bar that’s not full to the gills with tourists in the Financial District.
San Francisco, CA 94104