COMSTOCK SALOON Comstock Saloon is truly a beautiful space in a 1907 building on the Barbary Coast trail restored to the glories of its past with antique mahogany bar, Victorian furniture, wood-burning stove (faux, though it may be), upright piano and the bar's original spittoon. Jeff Hollinger (author of The Art of the Bar) and Jonny Raglin both came from Absinthe, bringing a mastery of cocktail classics to their own bar. Here you'll find straight-up classics, the kind found in pages of The Savoy Cocktail Book or Charles H. Baker's Gentleman's Companion, the latter displayed (first edition) in glassed-in shelves lining the wall, along with other historical cocktail memorabilia... a mini-Museum of the American Cocktail, if you will.
Beside making perfected Sazeracs and South Side cocktails, they've honed other lesser-known classics, like a Hop Toad, with Jamaican rum, apricot brandy, lime and bitters. Though Comstock, like Burritt, is an ideal place for lingering on plush Victorian couches, or in wood booths, it is also much more than bar. It's a restaurant with full menu, offering lunch and dinner, from Chef Carlo Espinas, formerly of Piccino Cafe. At first glance, a Beef Shank with Bone Marrow Pot Pie may look like a store-bought pot pie, but just sink your fork into flaky crust with a meaty, heartwarming interior and you'll taste the love. I also adore tender Potted Pork with a side of country ham, mustard, veggies and warm bread to spread it on.
Johnny Raglin behind the bar at Comstock. Photo by Virginia Miller
A welcome addition to North Beach, this comfortable saloon is also a loving tribute to turn-of-the-century SF history and cocktails popular back in our wild Barbary Coast days.
155 Columbus, SF. (between Jackson & Kearny)