This Week's SFist Reprint
Fighting the forces of snobbery by ordering top shelf Single Malt Scotch with a Bud Light chaser, Barrespondent Drew continues his quest to prove Thomas Jefferson wrong when he said ‘All men are created equal’. After all, some men are very drunk, and will fight you for almost no reason.
A lot of the bars in this city are designed to transport you somewhere else. Like a good movie or Disney ride, their goal is to make you briefly question where you are. Whether it’s to make you think you’re in jolly old England, a tropical paradise, or Oktoberfest, these places make careful use of décor (and the helpful effects of booze) to give you a little vacation from the neighborhood you’re coming there from.
But nostalgia’s a funny thing. What’s deep and meaningful to one person can be utterly pointless to another. Every once in awhile a place is opened that makes you wonder, “Who wanted to go back there?”. Perhaps it makes a world of sense to the folks that opened the place up and to a few of their friends, but it’s hard to envision throngs of people beating a path to its door dying to relive this particular memory.
The Connecticut Yankee, on 17th and Connecticut in Potrero Hill, is an incredibly realistic recreation of an average suburban bar in any city from Ansonia to Wilton. The outside design, the long tables inside, pitchers of Sam Adams, and Patriots and RedSox gear from top to bottom give this place an eerie realism that’s only appreciated by someone who actually lived in Connecticut.
Now some of you may be saying, “So what, there’s tons of New England themed bars in this city. What’s the big deal?”. Very true, but there’s a world of difference between New England and just Connecticut. New England represents all kinds of stuff. From the Lobsters up in Maine to cheese in Vermont to Cape Cod and Boston in Massachusetts, it represents quite a large chunk of Americana. Connecticut, however, represents a couple of Indian casinos and a plot of land that you have to drive through to get from Massachusetts to New York. It’s the land of Martha Stewart, Joe-mentum and crooked game show contestants.
But enough cracking on the Nutmeg State. Truth is, we kid because we love. The Connecticut Yankee may be puzzling to someone who’s never spent summers in West Haven scarfing down lobster rolls or traveling from city to city just to find out what they call big sandwiches there (Could be a hoagie, wedge, roll, sub, grinder or poorboy), but that’s the charm of it. This is a theme bar that transports you to a place you had no idea you ever wanted to go to but should. It’s a big fat slice of the suburban northeast right in the middle of San Francisco, which is weirdly interesting when you think about it.
Service and beer selection are average at the Yankee, and if they were any better it would take away from the authentic Long Island Harbor feel of the place.
So take a trip back east by stopping off at the Connecticut Yankee (especially this fall when Pats games start up). It’s like all the fun of Stamford without having to drive through Bridgeport to get there.