Back when I was a kid, Blogs were called 'imaginary friends' and were only slightly more pathetic.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

SFist Reprint

A weekly exercise in keepin' it real about the San Francisco drinkin' scene, by your local barrespondent, Drew.

Whenever you're out knockin' back a few, it's always good to avoid the three 'C's. Crowds, Cleanliness and Cost. If you can spend a night out in the city and avoid all three of these evils, then the world is yours and all that's in it (or at least what remains in that dusty bottle of Macallan that the bartender is clearly trying to hide).

There's plenty of empty bars in the city, but most of the time there's a perfectly good reason that no one's there. Either it smells awful, seems like a front for a much shadier business or is just poorly located. The key is to find a place that has a crowd, but isn't crowded.

There are also plenty of dirty bars to be found. In fact, just about any bar that's not in the Marina or Pacific Heights usually has a pretty good amount of grime in it. If it doesn't, it's either brand new or not to be trusted. Most San Francisco bars only clean the place thoroughly after there's been a murder there, so beware the place that smells like Clorox.

And cost, of course, is elemental to whether or not you'll have a good time. Even if you've got more money than you know what to do with, an expensive bar is always no fun. The cost of the place determines who you're going to hang out with. And if you've ever hung out with rich people who only like to hang out with other rich people, then no explanation is necessary.

So is there a place that meets these three all-important criteria? Do you really think we would've dragged you this far if the answer was no?

The Expansion on Market just up from Church is an unpolished little gem wedged between hipster dive Lucky 13 and that place that used to be a Boston Market. It's conveniently located, completely dingy, dirt cheap, and seems to always be immune to a crowd unless you brought that crowd with you.

This is the perfect 3rd or 4th bar to go to on a bar crawl. Because let's face it, after the 2nd or 3rd place, you don't really care what the place looks like or how hip the crowd is. All you're really looking for at that point is a flat surface to lean on and a few bottled budweisers to calm the stomach and the crew here will be more than happy to oblige. The bartenders are always jovial enough, despite having to deal with the 5 or 6 regulars that seem to live near the door.

So if you're looking to avoid the unholy triumverate of cost, crowd and cleanliness and just want a good dive bar, look no further than The Expansion.




Blogger TheCultureGhost blathered...

The Inner Richmond District used to be great for bar crawls...I "lived" at Max's 540 Club on Clement...I understand they've cleaned it up a bit which is a shame.

Is Trader Sam's (is that the right name?) on Geary still open? Decent mixed drinks best washed back with a few beers...

11:02 AM


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