S.F.’s Most Historic Bars, Vol. 2

They've survived earthquakes, fires and Prohibition

September 11, 2017 9:00 am

San Francisco may be all about the future, but our history is there if you know where to look — an enterprise that’s even more entertaining when that history is explored beer in hand. Below, five of our favorite century-old bars — and if you’re looking for more, don’t miss Volume 1

Bar: Dogpatch Saloon
Founded: 1912
Vibe: Thoroughly renovated to show off the historical aspects (see: wood-burning stove)
Amazing historical tidbit: “Dogpatch” (the neighborhood) is reportedly named for either the Dutchmen who lived pre-World War II, or the dogfennel that grew there.
Go: 2496 Third Street

Bar: Hotel Utah Saloon
Founded: 1908
Vibe: Extremely convivial
Amazing historical tidbit: “Gamblers, thieves, ladies up to no good, politicians, hustlers, friends of opium, goldseekers, godseekers, charlatans, police, fancy miscreants” all visited here — including Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, and open mic participants Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams
Go: 500 Fourth Street

Bar: Homestead
Founded: 1902
Vibe: Fancy, historically minded cocktails, plus dollar peanuts
Amazing historical tidbit: Flooding from a watermain break during the 1906 earthquake reportedly kept the bar from burning down
Go: 2301 Folsom Street

Bar: Bus Stop Saloon
Founded: 1900
Vibe: Marina sports bar
Amazing historical tidbit: Originally the Alley Inn, the Bus Stop welcome assorted Oakland Raiders in the early ’80s on game days (“It was a different time then“).
Go: 1901 Union Street

Bar: Shotwell’s
Founded: 1891
Vibe: Classy and awesome (with craft beers)
Amazing historical tidbit: Two German immigrants (neither named Shotwell) established the bar as a “Grocery Store Saloon” — a bar in the back of a convenience shop.
Go: 3349 20th Street


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.