Party Earth Review Located a few blocks from the madness of North Beach, amid hordes of high-rises and scurrying, briefcase-toting fellows, Comstock Saloon is a beautiful homage to the Barbary days of yore – minus the toothless gunslingers... ... read full review
155 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
MUNI F Line: The Embarcadero & Broadway
M–Th, Sa 4pm–2am, F noon–2am, Su 4pm–midnight
Downtown / Financial District, San Francisco –
Located a few blocks from the madness of North Beach, amid hordes of high-rises and scurrying, briefcase-toting fellows, Comstock Saloon is a beautiful homage to the Barbary days of yore – minus the toothless gunslingers angling for moonshine.
Named after noted mining tycoon Henry Comstock, the bar occupies a space that’s been satiating thirsty denizens since 1907. It has since undergone extensive renovation, but the venue still exudes historic flair, from the handcrafted bar made from a single cut of mahogany to the vintage curio cabinets and the brass palm fans slowly rotating above gilded barstools.
The guests, of course, are far more modern than the décor, with everyone from local businessmen and yuppies to the hippest of hipsters crowding in for old-school libations like the Bamboo (sherry and vermouth) and the Blood & Sand (scotch and cherry liqueur), as well as an array of creative dishes like fried oyster po’boys and bone marrow potpies.
Cool and classy groups settle into the booths across from the bar to chat and clink their pricey drinks, while overhead – tucked in a little recess – a regular band plunks out jazz, blues, and Western styles that carry into the adjoining dining room.
Comstock Saloon is regularly busy, so finding it on a bad night would be difficult – especially since it’s the sort of place where patrons can certainly spend a lot of cash on a cocktail, but ordering a regular ol’ beer wouldn’t be social suicide.
Cocktail connoisseurs, savvy tourists, hipsters, couples, unpretentious yuppies, groups of celebratory friends, older local businessmen, mid-20s to late 50s.
Live band plays mostly jazz, blues, and Western from 7:30pm M–Sa. DJ spins honky-tonk country tunes from 7:30pm on Sundays.
Creative menu including crispy pork with homemade biscuits, fried oyster and ham po’boy sandwiches, braised beef shank and bone marrow potpie, rabbit, and daily prix fixe lunch and dinner specials.
Special “Home Cookin’” menu 4–10pm on Sundays featuring amped-up traditional American fare like smoked cheese curds, fried grits, crab, fried chicken, and tri-tip.
Fans of Comstock should check out Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, a chichi French joint run by the same group and that touts an acclaimed menu of craft cocktails, an extensive wine list, and the namesake hallucinogenic drink.
Happy Hour daily 4–7pm.
Snacks $5, appetizers $9–$18, entrées $17–$22, sandwiches $13–$20, prix fixe lunch and dinner $38–$45, desserts $8.50.
Beer $4.50–$10, big bottles of beer $30, wine and champagne $8–$12+/glass or $34–$89+/bottle, cocktails $8–$13, spirits $7–$22.
Stylish casual: blazers, skinny jeans, button-downs, vintage dresses, understated skirts.
Friday nights after 5pm for the surge of patrons from the business district, Saturday nights for the youngest crowds from all over the city, and Sundays for the popular “Home Cookin’” menu.
15 Romolo (15 Romolo Place) a few blocks away in North Beach offers intricately crafted cocktails and a hipster vibe not exactly prevalent in this touristy part of town.