San Francisco's Incredible Bar Scene

Posted: May. 3rd, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse

As one of the more popular tourist destinations in the world, it's no surprise that San Francisco has an array of bars and clubs that are suitable for any demographic whatsoever. From chill-out joints playing smooth jazz and specializing in hard cocktails to beer-fueled rock 'n' roll clubs, San Francisco has it all.

San Francisco is one of this country’s great bar cities, a place where you can hit a graceful classic, a shady dive and a bitters-besotted new-school lounge in the same evening. During a trip last month, I set out on an extraordinary pub crawl — 20 bars in four days.

I started at Tosca Cafe, to which a local literary organization invited me. The bar remains a vision in chrome and red vinyl and checkerboard floors, with a long, polished, dark wood bar and men in crisp white fitted jackets behind it. Jeannette Etheredge, who has owned Tosca since 1980, pulled me into the back room, and while I sipped an old-fashioned, plied me with stories of luminaries, like Nureyev, who drank there.


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