Finding out the hard way that most San Francisco bars frown upon paying for your drinks in pennies, Barrespondent Drew continues his quest to find the best taverns, saloons and speakeasys in the city.
Being the drinking snobs we are, authenticity is certainly important when considering an Irish pub. No one likes the feeling of being cheated that washes over you when you enter some place called ‘Kilty McBagpipes’ and see nothing but NFL team pennants on the wall and Miller Lite on tap. These places are like those kit cars that were popular in the ‘70s. Sure, on the outside it might look like a Maserati, but get up close and you realize it’s just a hunk of fiberglass thrown around a Volkswagen chassis.
Unfortunately, the legitimacy of an Irish pub usually depends on having actual Irish people that frequent it, and if you’re also snobby enough to dislike all things touristy, this whittles down your options even further.
Luckily for choosy jerks like us, there’s a place that, despite being in the middle of one of the most tourist-choked areas of town, still maintains a very neighborhood feel (An Irish neighborhood).
Martin Mack’s, on Haight Street between Clayton and Ashbury, may be smack-dab on the intersection of trustafarian and burnout, but once inside you’ll never know it. A wonderful mix of old world charm and new Irish prosperity makes it an irresistibly comfortable bar.
We’ve never had anything but great service here. The barkeeps are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. They’ve got a truly magnificent beer selection and if liquor’s more your thing, some top shelf scotches as well.
You would think that the crowd would be the big problem at this place, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t been an issue at all, giving us the impression that this is the place where the semi-normal, non-gawking class goes to get away from it all in the heart of the Haight.
So check out Martin Mack’s, a refreshingly Irish Irish pub.