Party Earth Review Barrique is French for barrel, and inside this brightly lit warehouse of a wine bar there are eighteen of them stacked against one wall, tapped and filled to capacity with the equivalent of three hundred bottles each... ... read full review
461 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
MUNI F Line: The Embarcadero & Broadway
Downtown / Financial District, San Francisco –
Barrique is French for barrel, and inside this brightly lit warehouse of a wine bar there are eighteen of them stacked against one wall, tapped and filled to capacity with the equivalent of three hundred bottles each – a quantity that keeps patrons in good spirits at a good price.
The wine itself often comes from smaller vineyards that don’t produce enough grapey goodness to warrant bottling, which is why the area’s bankers, lawyers, and their trendily-dressed spouses who file in after work have probably never heard of what they’re drinking. Instead of ordering by name, these oenophiles order based on varietal, vintage, or appellation, or simply slide onto the sofas with a flight of the sommelier’s choosing.
Industrial metal beams, exposed brick, and blank walls create a sparse environment, offset by a sea of bottles stacked above the red leather chairs and simple white tables in the back of the room. The menu only includes light snacks like truffle popcorn and a selection of cheeses and charcuterie, so the older foodies tend to trickle out around the dinner hour, giving way to a more vibrant young crowd of tech industry types from neighborhood businesses.
Uncommon now, wine tapped straight from the barrel was once the standard in any European inn catering to peasants unwinding after their pre-industrial toil – and though today’s Downtown worker bees are certainly not peasants, Barrique’s twist on the contemporary wine bar brings a welcome taste of old-fashioned rural roughness to the modern heart of the city.
Successful yuppies and social media types, cultured post-grads, upscale professionals, trendy ladies, and older couples stopping in before heading to a classy restaurant, late 20s to late 40s+.
Barely audible ambient music.
Light fare to pair with the wine, including cheese and meat plates. The venue’s wine club offers 10% off wines by the glass, 25% off carry-out bottles, and 30% off bottles for purchases of twelve or more. Wine club membership is free, though members must agree to purchase twenty-four bottles a year.
Cheese plates $8–$16, cured meats $8, baguettes $5, smoked almonds $5. Beer $6–$9, wine $6–$15/glass or $21–$110/bottle, wine flights $15.
Nice casual to upscale: designer jeans, boho chic sweaters, suits, dresses, heels.
Tuesdays through Saturdays for a glass of wine before splurging on a swanky dinner, or Fridays and Saturdays after 7pm for a usually younger crowd riding a wine flight or two.
Chic speakeasy/supper club BIX (56 Gold Street) features live jazz and classic cocktails, and is routinely ranked by the Chronicle newspaper as one of San Francisco’s best restaurants.
Cigar Bar & Grill (850 Montgomery Street) features classic bar food in a more casual environment, as well as upscale fare like pistachio-crusted king salmon. The venue also hosts live Latin jazz and sells a number of premium cigars.