Party Earth Review Located south of the heaviest Mission drinking scene on a largely residential stretch, Phone Booth may have a cream-colored façade that’s as understated as, well, a phone company’s, but the similarities end there. Open... ... read full review
1398 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94110
BART: 24th St. Mission;
M–F 1pm–2am, Sa–Su 2pm–2am
Mission, San Francisco –
Located south of the heaviest Mission drinking scene on a largely residential stretch, Phone Booth may have a cream-colored façade that’s as understated as, well, a phone company’s, but the similarities end there.
Open since the 80s, the name stems from a long-gone Pacific Bell office that stood across the street, when the regulars were comprised of mostly gay company men in need of a casual after-work drink.
These days it draws a more diverse, but still wholly unpretentious crowd, which packs the tiny single room for cheap beer, free popcorn, and a chance to light up cigarettes in unified scorn of anti-smoking laws.
The décor appears to have been executed by someone who began setting up for the holidays and got sidetracked, with fake branches and Christmas lights strewn across the ceiling, all mixed up with a bizarre chandelier of naked Barbie dolls.
Midweek plays host to sedate groups of area yuppies, hipsters, and older barflies, who take to the scattered tables with cans of PBR and heavily poured cocktails, either to chat or wait for an opening on the lone pool table.
On Fridays, the tiny space is routinely packed with a younger but still chill crowd of rockers and grunge kids, keeping the vibe casual and the air relaxed – even if all the smoke makes it hard to see.
Slightly removed but well worth the trip, Phone Booth is an easy spot to drink away any hang-ups with a happy bunch of disconnected souls.
Hipsters, cool cats, hippies, college kids, blue-collar Joes, chill yuppies, old-fart barflies, 20s to 40s.
Jukebox or bartender’s playlist fill the room with a rather random assortment of music that this crowd always seems to love.
Couple of TVs tuned to whatever.
No food. Venue is known for being one of a handful of SF drinking dens that ignore the citywide smoking ban – though there’s no telling how long that can last, so keep your mouth shut! Happy Hour daily 4–7pm.
Beer $3.50–$4, cocktails $5–$10, shots and hard stuff $4–$10, coffee and soda $2, beer and shot combos $7–$15.
Fashionably anti-fashion: skinny jeans, leather jackets, graphic t-shirts, boots, high-tops, granny jumpers, plaid, vintage dresses.
Thursday through Saturday nights for a guaranteed packed house by as early as 7pm, or early in the week for a relaxed drink and round of pool.
Beauty Bar (2299 Mission Street) accommodates a similar crowd and touts a dance floor that is rarely empty.