Blurring the line between casual and problematic drinking, Barrespondent Drew does the ‘hard work’ of walking into unfamiliar bars of the bay area. That way if he gets nearly beaten to death for not being a local, you’ll at least have a negative review to serve as a heads up. My, what noble work!
Coming to the slightly shocking realization that there just aren’t that many parts of town we haven’t completely worn out our welcome in bar wise, this week we decided to check out an area the drinking gods have conspired to keep us away from for far too long, the Outer Mission.
Sure, everyone and their bridge and tunnel brother knows all about the Inner Mission. Just try getting served at even the most mediocre of spots around 16th and Valencia and you’re in for a wait. The privilege of getting to stand shoulder to shoulder with your friends and shout at the top of your lungs is alluring for sure, but we think you’ll find high quality slumming awaits if you’re willing to stay on the 14 bus for a few more stops and head on south past Caesar Chavez.
The 3300 Club on Mission and 29th (not 33rd, which would seemingly make a lot more sense) is a wonderful throwback to the way bars ought to be. It’s garnered a reputation as a ‘locals’ bar with good reason. If you’re looking for a bachelorette party or frat guys pounding Coors Light, then this is probably not gonna cut it, but if you’re looking for a comfortable little dive with super friendly service and a mellow, laid back vibe, this is the spot for you.
Nothing terribly fancy on tap here, but anything more sophisticated than Anchor Steam would only serve to spoil the atmosphere here. This place is, above all else, simple. Simple drinks served to run of the mill people (and we mean that in a good way) in a relaxing, dark and dingy setting. Perhaps 10 years ago, we may have found this place boring, but as it stands today, it’s just perfect.
The bartenders here are the single most friendly we’ve encountered anywhere. One of the taps ran out halfway through pouring our beer and I thought for a second our keep was going to drop to her knees and cry until we forgave her. That combined with genuine ‘thank you’s for bussing our own table made us realize that politeness isn’t dead after all, you just have to go to a place that isn’t crawling with so many people that taking the extra time to be nice doesn’t cause a delay for the other 20 people at the bar also waiting for drinks.
So if ‘pleasant and inviting’ has moved above ‘trendy and choked with twenty-somethings’ on your list of what’s important in a bar, then definitely check out the 3300.