Hobson's Choice Bar

Bar
Hobson's Choice Bar Home to more than 120 varieties of rum – quite possibly the largest selection in the city – Hobson's Choice is a place where real men quickly discover the power of a frou-frou drink. San Francisco United States 37.769688 -122.448742
3.83 7
Hobson's Choice Bar - Bar in San Francisco.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Home to more than 120 varieties of rum – quite possibly the largest selection in the city – Hobson’s Choice is a place where real men quickly discover the power of a frou-frou drink. Haight residents sporting skinny jeans... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    MUNI N Line: Carl Street & Cole Street‎

  • Phone:

    415-621-5859

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F 2pm–2am, Sa–Su noon–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Hobson's Choice Bar Review

The Scene

Home to more than 120 varieties of rum – quite possibly the largest selection in the city – Hobson's Choice is a place where real men quickly discover the power of a frou-frou drink.

Home to more than 120 varieties of rum – quite possibly the largest selection in the city – Hobson’s Choice is a place where real men quickly discover the power of a frou-frou drink.

Haight residents sporting skinny jeans and perpetual five o’clock shadows drop in for Happy Hour, slinging back $3 House Punches as med students from UCSF plop onto antique couches with one of the monthly specials. Tiffany-style lamps and gold-leaf mirrors give the venue a Victorian flare, but the long shelves of bottles set behind the well-lacquered bar are what most patrons are focusing on.

A few older locals in dreadlocks and 60s duds sit at one of a handful of tables, sipping Dark N’ Stormys and watching the Giants finish up on the flat-screens, while barbecue fare from Asqew Grill a few doors up ensures cocktail garnishes aren’t the only thing patrons have to eat.

Once the evening sets in – especially come Friday – it’s normal to find Hobson’s wall-to-wall with barhoppers, large groups of students, and tattooed hipsters unabashedly ordering another round of Wiki Waki Woos – and it’s about that time that regulars know to dart upstairs for balcony views of the sugar-charged madness below.

Showing up at Hobson’s Choice after 10pm means shouldering through a crowd and then fighting some more for the bartender’s attention, but once it’s time to order, all the non-beer drinking visitors face a simple decision: rum…or rum.

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Tip from Emma:

Sure, the signature rum punches are spectacular, but if you need a little kick, try out the delicious $5 Van Gogh espresso martini. Just don’t hold any sharp objects when you drink it – it’s packed with caffeine, and it would be a shame to get the shakes and end up looking like the drink’s namesake!

  • Crowd

    College students, eccentric Haight locals including the kinds who wear full-body leather on nights other than Halloween, pierced and tattooed hipsters, med students, edgy young professionals, and tourists dropping in on the Haight scene, 20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Jukebox featuring an eclectic mix of mostly alt rock. A few flat-screens usually tuned to local sports. Pac-Man tabletop game.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Barbecue grub from Asqew Grill, including ribs, skewers, and vegetarian dishes, available until 10pm. Upstairs can be rented for private parties. Happy Hour M–F 5–7pm. Credit card minimum $20. ATM on site.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $4–$5, skewers $7–$12, chicken and ribs $10–$18. Beer $3–$5, cocktails $6–$9, rum punch $5–$6/glass, $18/two-person bowl, or $30–$35/large bowl.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: jeans, t-shirts, medical scrubs, hoodies, work attire, polos, tie-dyes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for the largest crowds, or anytime during the week for the $3 Happy Hour punch specials.

  • Close By

    The Alembic (1725 Haight Street) is a very popular neighborhood haunt with a large selection of liquor, beer, and specialty cocktails, as well as an ever-changing menu of intricate American cuisine.

Hobson's Choice Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
Rum, Rum and More Rum
Susie D. Feb 20, 2013
Upon walking into Hobson's Choice, I noticed two things – one, the distinct smell of stale beer and rum; and two, one of the more eclectic crowds I've seen in a single bar. Immediately, I was encouraged (and not just by the stale beer). Bars that draw patrons from far and wide clearly have something to offer almost anyone, and Hobson's Choice was no exception. Tasty draft beer? Got it. Fruity rum punch? Several options. And for those seeking a hard-to-find rum from some far-off corner of the Caribbean, Hobson's has got you covered – and covered again. A blackboard above the bar is filled with a vast list of rums that is sure to please even the pickiest of rum connoisseurs. Behind the bar, tenders pour glass after glass of their three types of rum punch (coconut lovers should go for the Victorian) that are a mere $3.50 during happy hour. That deal alone would be enough to keep me happy, but clearly there's something more that's keeping this varied crowd satisfied. Must be that tropical/stale beer/Haight Street vibe.
Hobson's Choice is My Choice!
Abigail C. Feb 20, 2013
At the corner of Haight and Clayton, sits this comfortable bar in this busy area. With an endless bar, including delicious signature cocktails and punch drinks, this is the perfect spot for a night out for one, or a night out for 20! The spacious layout and fun upstairs lounge provides lots of space to socialize and with their punch bowl option, you and your friends can have an affordable and pleasant night out.
Rum Punch
Rachel G. Nov 21, 2012
One of the best bars in the Haight! My favorite thing to get here is the rum punch. Talk about YUM! I like to come on a regular night where things aren't too crazy and just hang out with friends. We often go in for large bowls to share and talk about the recent gossip in our lives. This place is right next to Asqew grill, where they have amazing grilled food! We usually go here first and then head to Hobson's for drinks and rum bowls! Another favorite of this place is the old school Pac-Man table top game! Only other place I know that has this would be Underdogs on Irving street! Total plus in my eyes...
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