Party Earth Review Located amid the towers of business and finance that line Montgomery Street, The House of Shields is an oasis of old-world luxury in one of San Francisco’s most thoroughly modern neighborhoods. Established in the early... ... read full review
39 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
MUNI J, N, L, KT Lines: Metro Montgomery Station
M–F 2pm–2am, Sa–Su 3pm–2am
Downtown / Financial District, San Francisco –
Located amid the towers of business and finance that line Montgomery Street, The House of Shields is an oasis of old-world luxury in one of San Francisco’s most thoroughly modern neighborhoods. Established in the early 1900s, the bar underwent an extensive renovation in 2010, reopening with the stains of spent years and spilt beers scrubbed away.
Restored to its former glory complete with rich wood paneling, gold-leaf embellishments, and classical statues of crones, maidens, and amazons gazing down as if they were carved and mounted yesterday, the landmark venue remains the site of a thriving social scene, full of well-heeled business professionals who stop in after work for a few Dark & Stormys and Old Fashioneds.
A younger crowd of creative types arrives later and on weekends, when students from nearby California College of the Arts and speakeasy lovers from all over town settle into the window booths for drinks and some animated conversation. Given the lack of TVs, or even a single clock, it’s clear that these hip patrons come more for a place where banter is king and time is an anathema.
Elegant but unpretentious, there are few better places in San Francisco to loosen one’s tie or just enjoy simple but elegant cocktails than at The House of Shields.
Diverse mix depending on the time of day, including movers, shakers, dealmakers, young finance types, off-shift restaurant workers, barhoppers, art students, appreciators of old-timey atmospheres, and in-the-know tourists, 20s to 40s+.
Ambient oldies and classic rock.
Beer $3–$10, wine $6–$8, cocktails $10–$12. $10 credit card minimum.
Hipster casual to business: button-downs, jackets, blouses, heels, vests, sweaters, vintage wear, scarves.
Early in the week to join the business types, or Fridays and Saturdays after 8pm for a loud and diverse crowd.
Rickhouse (246 Kearny Street), owned by the same folks behind Bourbon & Branch, features barrel stave walls, tons of bourbon and fine cocktails, and no-cover charge live bluegrass, jazz, and country music.