Bless This Messeffist
A weekly review of high class wine tastings with appetizers of cured meats and various cheeses. Just replace the wine with dive bar-Pabst Blue Ribbon and the meats and cheese with one of those 'jerky cheddar' combo packs from the corner store. Brought to you each week by barrespondent Drew.
Several areas throughout the city could be referred to as 'pitstop' locales, their primary purpose being to provide a slight rest when you're on your way from one neighborhood to another. I know there's people who live in these parts of town who probably won't take kindly to such a casual dismissal of their area, but fact is that a lot of people hitting a bar in Laurel Hill are probably headed to the Richmond or headed Downtown. Same thing with Corona Heights, South Beach, and Parkside. Again, great parts of town, wouldn't dream of dispariging them in any way, but usually pitstops (pause for flood of hate mail).
One such area is the neighborhood around Guerrero and Market. It's not really the Mission, it's definitely not the Castro or Lower Haight and isn't quite Hayes Valley or Civic Center either. It just sort of is. All we know is that we wind up spending a lot of time there because it does connect all those neighborhoods and so the bars of that mystery district get frequented a lot, mainly because we get tired and want a rest before pushing on to wherever we're headed.
The Orbit Room Cafe, right on that very corner of Guerrero and Market is one of those 'Coffee Shop by day, swinging bar by night' kind of joints. Despite being more of a store front than an actual bar, it still maintains a fairly decent vibe and since you're probably not staying for long, you could do worse.
The times that we've been there were usually midway through the evening, and at that time Orbit is seemingly at its busiest. The bartender always seems rushed and panicked here for some reason and not for any particularly good reason. Glasses are angrily washed and Mojitos are an equal parts mixture of rum, sugar, mint and 'Screw this job, why won't they hire a bar back?'. I've never seen the place completely wall to wall with people and yet the staff remains in a constant state of jittery rudeness at all times.
The drinks at Orbit are average at best and a little overpriced as well. A general lack of space makes the place seem a lot more crowded than it usually is and even if you are lucky enough to get a table, they're rather uncomfortable and artsy and only provide a stage for people to pass by the huge plate glass windows and mock you.
If it's right on your way, then we won't tell you to go any place different than Orbit, but if you can stand another couple of blocks of walking, then any one of the five neighborhoods this place borders will provide with a better alternative.