Perhaps it is, as the official line of the newly renovated Dogpatch Saloon goes, high time for a 100-year-old bar to undergo a facelift. The bar's new ownership headed by Christopher Barry, the mind behind downtown's 83 Proof, seemed like it had its heart in the right place, but the neighborhood bar's clientele had a right to be worried about the integrity of its comfy watering hole in a rapidly evolving area. Lo and behold: the change was good. Fresh new cocktails lubricate a complete (but not drastic) rehash of the age-old interior, and the characters assembled around the bar continue to convey the scruffy ragtagliness of the dockside 'hood. We like it when well-loved institutions move smoothly with the times, especially when that motion involves a cocktail shaker.
2496 Third St., SF. (415) 643-8592, www.dogpatchsaloon.com