I saw a blog post in the San Francisco Weekly that reminded me of one of the finer experiences I (we) have had in a bar. San Francisco’s Bourbon and Branch is a modern-day take on the 1920′s era speakeasy, when prohibition was in place, money was easy, and selling booze was a clandestine affair. B and B takes tries to impart a bit of that feel. They “require” a password before they’ll let you in (I put that word in quotes because I think if you show up there gonna let you in), they take reservations, the place is as dark as an alley at night.
Buffalogal and I spent the better part of an evening there a couple of years ago, sipping bourbon cocktails and digging the crepuscular atmosphere. The place was dark and intimate, lit by candlelight. The bartenders were pros, at least, they carried themselves that way, shaking cocktail shakers with both hands, mixing fresh juices, dishing out homespun wisdom along with their libations, and generally imparting that cool vibe out over the ether.
There was no food on the menu that I remember, maybe snacks of some kind, like a saltine, but we weren’t there for food. Just drinks and atmosphere, and the place had both in spades.