SUPER EGO Marke B. is off getting hitched to Hunky Beau (finally!) so we asked scruffy lad-about-town Ruggy Joesten, senior community manager at Yelp.com, to fill in as nightlife correspondent. This is the second part of his SF Bush Corridor bar blitz. You can read all about part one here.
Summer Place Cocktail Lounge (801 Bush): Once we adjusted to the optical shock of entering this dark bar, we were treated to red accents throughout, Festivus lights along the low ceiling, and a new-school jukebox flashing every color of the rainbow and begging for our hard-earned dollars. We were clearly no regulars, but if looks could kill, we'd have all been assassinated by the three locals bellied up to the bar. I get it, though. Here we were, a bunch of young knuckleheads on an ironic bar crawl, interrupting their usually quiet evening with jovial intrigue and obnoxious requests for shots that should only be consumed on 21st birthdays. Clearly we deserved the hesitated acceptance. The standoff between us and the barflies became so contentious that when I asked the bartender for a flyer to help spread the good word about the joint's 12-year anniversary party, one of the seasoned veterans retorted, "How about this for a flyer: use your fucking mouth and tell people yourself."
I actually appreciated his candor and offered him a shot. As expected, tequila helped bury the hatchet. Then I learned that every alcoholic beverage purchased comes complete with a free bowl of Doritos! I don't know if that's usual policy, since I also noticed a rice cooker and a bottle of mustard on the counter behind the bar. Meanwhile, with cheese-stained fingers and a solid buzz, my posse fixated on a young couple engaging in some serious heavy petting in the corner of the room. And by heavy petting, I mean, I'm almost certain we collectively became pregnant just by watching them. (I named my newly formed zygote Darius, since I've always wanted a boy.) Were we slugging moonshine in the Tenderloin, or watching a live sex show with Roman Polanski in Amsterdam? After bidding adieu to the two lovebirds, I thanked my lucky stars that I'd opted for denim instead of sweatpants, and we hightailed it to our next stop.
21 Club (98 Turk): Five warm PBRs for $12.50. Faint smell of Brylcreem, urine, and failure. Esquire magazine's proclamation that this bar was one of the country's finest in 2008, proudly framed on the far corner of the facade. Good times for all.
Yong San (895 Bush): Yet another Bush hole-in-the-wall with extremely good-looking Korean women at the helm, and yet another bar where smoking was not only tolerated, but also borderline encouraged. I'm not a smoker, but when in Rome and you find yourself with a lit match in your grill and wandering brown eyes anticipating a long, fiery drag, it almost makes you wish you had a Virginia Slim at the ready. Sadly in this instance, I didn't have a fag within arm's reach, but I'll be better equipped the next time.