Time once again for another two fingers of truth, lit on fire and chugged before being hastily chased by a PBR back. As long as Prohibition has still been repealed, Barrespondent Drew will be there to try new places out.
Well, bad luck, poor decision making and/or godawful planning have landed us in the Upper Haight again, stuck between 3 head shops, 2 Starbucks and a store that appears to have used T-shirts on sale for $30. What’s that you say, the Haight ain’t that bad? Maybe you’re right. After all, it does keep many hundreds of tourists away from other more appealing parts of the city.
Actually, as much as we'd like to write the whole neighborhood off and treat it like Fisherman's Wharf for Phish fans, the Haight has some of the best bars in the whole city. Afore-reviewed Café Aub Zam Zam’s and Finnegan’s Wake are fantastic places to get all lit up in the middle of the day ,and The Gold Cane has its moments as well. Maybe we should seriously reconsider our knee-jerk anti-Haightness from a mere paragraph ago. Ok, fine, we love the Haight and we’re not afraid to say it. So now that we've buried the hatchet with our hemp-loving neighbors, let’s try another place out.
Murio’s Trophy Room, right next to Amoeba records at the ass-end of Haight, is a pretty damn fun place. Maybe a little too bright, and certainly more annoying as the night wears on and people spill out of the several sports bars and music clubs nearby, but still fun.
We’ve had incredible luck with the bartenders at Murio’s. Without a doubt some of the friendliest in the city. Combine that with quick and no-nonsense drink pouring and you’ve got a great spot for the early evening before it gets too jam packed. Again, if I were running the place, I’d take out about half of the lighting as it seems to constantly have a ‘2 AM, everybody out’ kind of feel where you’re squinting against a harsh floodlight just to see if you’re name’s come up on the pool table yet. It also could benefit from some darker carpet or a fresh coat of paint that isn’t a primary color. Bright and happy might be good for an IKEA, but it’s crap for bars.
All in all however, we’d still recommend giving Murio’s a try. After all, how impressive is it that the staff here are able to stay this friendly and cordial when most of the people walking by are stoned tourists? Perhaps we just answered our own question.