1849 Lincoln Wy ~ (415) 242-9930

5:00pm Thursday 28 February 2008

Prologue: It has recently — somewhat surprisingly — happened that the number of male Barflies has surpassed the number of female ones. Now, The Hostess is not complaining about this demographic dynamic. In fact, in order to demonstrate that there is always room at the Bar for another gentleman, we are adding one more hot man to the mix tonight at Dubliner Lincoln. What’s more, he’s flying halfway across the Pacific Ocean just to join us! (Well, OK, he might have another reason for coming to town, but he’s the reason for the date and time of this Official Visit, so I’m sticking with my version of events.) I don’t know anything about Dubliner Lincoln, except that it’s small, and it’s where I and at least two three (Chica Cherry has apparently just added this to her Bent Deluge Birthday Extravaganza— yay!) other Barflies will be on Thursday evening. So, come by and check it out with us, or wait for the review, but either way, stay tuned!

Afterword: Scotty really summed this one up nicely when he said that this Bar is in transition from its former Irish pub incarnation to a sports bar catering to the fraternity set.  While San Francisco can afford to lose an Irish pub here and there — the city being so riddled with them — there is a real question as to whether we need another sports bar vying for the allowances of college kids.  But The Hostess realizes that a person who buys a Bar purchases the right to do whatever he wants with it, this being America and all.

So, once upon a time, or four months before the Official Visit to Dubliner Lincoln, a nice boy named Tim (hi, Tim!) bought the business and promptly changed the name to Lincoln Tavern, basically completely offending The Hostess’ alphabetical sensibilities, but whatever.  It’s all still By The Book, so no problem.  Apparently, Tim has plans to change the name even more drastically, to — of all things — The Chug Pub.  (I know!)  He even showed me the logo he is contemplating: a mug of spilled beer — just as charming as you’d imagine.  I gently suggested something more genteel, in keeping with the original name, such as “The Publiner”, but to no avail, I’m quite certain.  Scotty is right: whatever this Bar is called, it is/was in flux, and will likely be a whole different sort of spot as soon as I am done telling you what it was like when I was there, so you’ll have to just go and check it out for yourselves.  Feel free to let me know how it has continued to change…

Say hi to Terrance for me if he’s bar-tending when (if) you go (hi, Terrance!).  He’s a very friendly lad who told me the whole Dubliner Lincoln/Lincoln Tavern/Chug Pub saga while I instructed him on the finer points of laying down some smoke in a Smoky Mirror.  You see, there are (were) actually four various incarnations of Dubliners scattered around San Francisco (obviously somewhat differently named, or otherwise not in The Book under “Bars”) owned by one person who decided to sell the one on Lincoln Way and another one on (in?) West Portal.  The name change frenzy is an attempt to differentiate Tim’s place from the others.  However, judging from the long faces on some of the regulars who wandered in during the Official Visit and hunkered down — visibly casting aspersions down the length of the premises — I don’t think that the transformation is going to be as heralded as Tim hopes.  Dubliner Lincoln has obviously been around long enough to attract a clientele, and they seem to like the place the way it is.

And I don’t blame them.  The place has a number of fine features going for it.  Open at 4:00pm during the week (and at noon on the weekends!), the west wall is mostly large windows, so it’s cheerfully bright on sunny afternoons.  There’s the obligatory pool table (pool is/was free on Sundays) and dart board, and even a collection of board games (including Battleship, Jenga, and Connect 4) for those who prefer to play games sitting down.  There are two ceiling fans and one disco ball, and…free wi-fi!!! 

<digression> (The Hostess would like — love! —  to see more Bars offering wireless internet.  All this ridiculous blogging would be ever so much fun if it were done in an actual Bar.  And just think, I could recount Official Visits in real time!) </digression>

There’s also a kitchen which serves a menu of typical bar fare, including very delicious french fries which I’m sure are just as tasty if you have to pay for them (thanks, Terrance!).  Finally, there is the delightfully ingenious smoking parlor, which almost made me want to have a cigarette.  It’s an actual room, completely separate from the rest of the Bar, with stools and a big window that can be opened, weather permitting.  Ergo, smokers can order drinks, go into the parlor, and hang out with their beverages.  They don’t have to cluster around the door, furiously smoking in such a hurry to get back inside to their drinks that they are prone to toss their butts on the sidewalk — it’s fantastic! 

Unfortunately, the ambiance of the premises is being altered with such nonsense as something called the “Stop Light Party” (on Thursdays, starting at 9:00pm, consider yourself warned).  The idea being that one wears clothing color-coded to indicate one’s desire to be hit on (yes, you read that correctly):  red = in a relationship, don’t bother; yellow = possibly interested, approach with caution; green = single and ready to mingle!  And, in case your wardrobe doesn’t reflect your actual situation (which it probably doesn’t, since you are probably wearing jeans and a black shirt, admit it), the establishment thoughtfully provides (allegedly washable) spray paint with which you can adorn your hair.  It should come as no surprise that the Barflies and I politely excused ourselves before any of this occurred.  I was too disturbed to even inquire what sorts of events are in the works for the other six nights of the week. 

Happily, I was distracted from contemplating the imminent demise of Dubliner Lincoln by Lotus Position’s arrival.  The addition of a new ‘Fly always does my  heart good.  It was lovely of Nora Charles to share him with us, and I do hope that the  airline apocalypse affairs  don’t interfere with our seeing him more often…

This Official Visit confirmed once again the value of gracious, gregarious and genial drinking companions (the previous evening’s enjoyment of Double Dutch notwithstanding, of course).  What could have been a vaguely unsettling experience, somewhat adversely affected by the transitory nature of the establishment, turned out to be a fine evening with friends (and french fries).  It was also a much-needed mellow way to bring two weeks of basically uninterrupted bar-hopping (Officially, and otherwise) to a close.  The Hostess was showing signs of wear and tear, apparently (Lotus Position was briefly concerned about my health, dear consummate doctor that he is!).  I was still in the throes of whatever mysterious illness I had been suffering for a fortnight, and my social calender was crammed with Chica Cherry’s birthday festivities! 

I needed a rest.  So Bars By The Book went on hiatus.  It was a bit abrupt, and left some folks bewildered and bereft, but it needed to be done.  And judging from the fine form in which I found myself at Bar # 38 a month later, that brief respite was most restorative!

Bathroom Biography:
The ladies’ room is certianly large enough to accommodate the hordes Tim is hoping for.  Though he might want to do something about the smell of dirty mop water, as long as he is changing things up.  Bottom line: it’ll do in a pinch as somewhere to duck for a minute if the “Stop Light Party” et all get to be a bit much.