Bus Stop Friday, Jun 22 2007 

1901 Union ~ WEBSITE ~ (415) 567-6905

8:00pm Friday 25 May 2007

 Prologue: Their website is SUPER ANNOYING. Do not click on the link to it unless you want to be directed to a page that plays music which you cannot turn off and is not very informative, at that. (Oh, well, it’s a Bar in the Marina, so what else can you really expect besides a dose of obnoxiousness?) On the plus side of things, the Bus Stop is the first Bar That Is Also a Cocktail Lounge, which is certainly something worth noting. It is also the last Bar that starts with a “B”.  So really, why would you not check it out with me…? 

You might also consider reading Mark Morford’s reflection on excessive drinking beforehand.  I can’t decide if he is pro or con (or has just given up on deciding) in his conclusion, but I do enjoy his prose. And it’s a nice reminder that maintaining the ability to remain upright is essential to say, any “artistic adventure considerably illuminated by champagne” (which is a phrase that appears on the first page of a book called  “Babbitt” by Sinclair Lewis that is otherwise a terrible waste of time so don’t bother reading it because this phrase is the best part of the book, trust me). 

Afterword:  Let me begin this little synopsis by apologizing for taking so long to write it.  I am well aware of the first rule of ridiculous blogging: “update, update, update” — but what can I say?  I wanted to wait until I had time to write something worthy of my Bus Stop experience (and I have been nursing a broken toe — more or less — keep reading).

Paladin and I took the bus to the Bus Stop, because I am nothing if not a propos.  I was excited as I always am on the threshold of “THE NEXT BAR!”, but I do have to admit that my initial impression was somewhat less-than-enthusiastic.  This did not phase me in the least, of course, because I was expecting a pretty stereotypical Marina (and therefore largely unpleasant) hangout, so the fact that the Bus Stop seemed only about 50% stereotypical Marina clientele was actually a plus.  You see, the Bus Stop is actually not a “Marina bar”.  It’s really one of the oldest bars in San Francisco (est. 1900) and what it is is a neighborhood Bar that just happens to be in the neighborhood of the Marina (of course Paladin will debate semantics with you for hours between what is the Marina vs. what constitutes Cow Hollow, but come on, what is the difference, these days, hair-gel-wise?).  What this means is that there are stereotypical Marina-types in there, but at least half the people there are from the neighborhood from well before the designation “Marina” took on its dot-bomb negative connotations, so once you settle in and realize this, you will calm down about the fact that people might be looking at you a little funny, because if you are not from the Marina (or Cow Hollow), they are just wondering what you are doing there, that’s all.

Which is to say that the Bus Stop did not immediately strike me as a destination spot.  What the Bus Stop also happens to be is a sports bar — with 22 tv screens of various sizes all turned to sports and a back room full of pool tables.  So if you want to see sports, I suppose you might head there from elsewhere on purpose, but that’s not why I go to Bars, is it?  So I can’t assess the Bus Stop from the perspective of a sports bar afficinado.

But I can (oh, and I will!)  assess the Bus Stop from a Barfly perspective and as it turns out, the main reason I didn’t like the Bus Stop more immediately is because I allowed myself to be seduced by their window seats, which are bright (being in the windows and all) and do have railings just wide enough to balance a drink on, and even have the same stools as the bar, but I had separation anxiety from the bartender as soon as I had turned my back on him to look out the window and let’s face it, the bar is always the best place to be. 

So when the 25-somethings thronging the bar cleared out to go and peer at the rest of us from their peripheral tables, we moved to the middle of the bar and I instantly felt much more at home.  It is possible this was occasioned, at least in part, to the arrival of the newest Barfly, Scotty, who had ventured blocks (blocks!) outside of his usual drinking zone and obviously needed The Hostess to create the illusion of the familiar if he was going to make it through the requisite Drink.  But meeing Ron, the bartender, was also definitely a factor in the merriment which ensued.  (And I don’t even think I ever got around to telling him the fascinating fact that the Bus Stop is the first Bar In The Book that is also a Cocktail Lounge!)

While Scotty was being miffed by the presense of the creepy guy at the end of the bar with the terrible pick-up lines (he actually asked me if I was his new belly dance instructor, if you can even believe it!) — who has already been 86-ed from where you can otherwise find Scotty enjoying a vodka concoction — and Paladin disappeared outside on the premise of taking a suspiciously long phone call (that could have easily been four cigarettes in a row), I remained calm by focusing on the example Ron set by his sublime equanimity when I explained Bars By The Book to him.  He didn’t bat an eye.  He didn’t seem to care.  He served a bunch of other people their drinks and then, without seeming to have paid any mind whatsoever to what I had told him about the Bus Stop being the # 15 Bar in The Book, served me a complimentary (my favorite kind!) cocktail and started putting the venerable history of the Bus Stop into proper perspective for a new-comer like me.

Well, you know how I feel about charming gentlemen (love them!).  Ron had that one-two punch of charming gentleman plus credit-to-his-profession-of-bar-tender thing going on and I was just smitten.  I could have sat there for (even more) hours, listening to him tell me all about the long (and fajita-checkered) past of his place of employment for the last 20 (right Ron?) years … but there was an old-timey two-person table-top version of Ms Pacman I simply had to check out before I lost any semblance of reflexes, so Scotty and I went over to ask the motor cycle boys to move their helmets off the game (which they seemed happy to do, when asked politely) and I proceeded to kick some serious vintage video game ass (if I do say so myself).

It’s hard to say what happened next.  Jason (we’re giving him 12-year status) started his shift behind the bar and Ron introduced us, and the only thing better than one great bartender is a pair of them, so that was like putting frosting on ice cream.  Scotty seemed to have gotten over the fact that the Bus Stop martinis are Barbie-doll sized (although only $5.50 and made with Belevedere, to be fair), and then the Zombies showed up.  It was frankly a lot to keep track of (and the 25-somethings in the corners seemed utterly unsure of what to make of the Zombies, which was priceless, thank you, Zombies!).  And I wish I could explain the Zombies to you, but those darn Zombies don’t seem to have a permanent website I can link to, and they are beyond even my powers of description (which should tell you a lot, actually).  Suffice to say that there were Zombies.  (And really, need I say more?)

While I can’t explain the Zombies, I did get pictures with them.  Which was when Ron offered to take some pictures of all the Barflies (yes, the Zombies were ‘flies), which was when I, said what I really wanted was to go Behind the Bar and have my picture taken with him and Jason (which I learned at The Black Horse London Pub, you are supposed to wait to be asked to go Behind the Bar, well … who knew?)  My self-invitation was accepted (to my delight — it’s the best vantage point in a bar, you know…) and in the midst of a photo op. that resulted in two adorable photos, I have to admit that I did some damage to the middle toe on my right foot.  (Attention!  All my fault and damage not permanent, I promise!) 

There is a reason that one shouldn’t venture Behind the Bar unless given permission.  It can be a dangerous (or at least somewhat tricky) place and is really best left to professionals.  In the case of the Bus Stop, there is an outcropping of something that is very hard and metallic and precisely the right location to injure any appendages — however small and dainty — that may be peeking out of an open-toed shoe.  Thank Bacchus I had worn my oh-so-trendy-&-Marina-riffic wedge platform sandals that night or things could have been much worse.  I seem to have escaped permanent disfigurement, and the jury (entirely fictional as I assure you it is) is still thinking I won’t even lose the toenail.  Whew!  The toe trauma did sort of bring the evening to an end sooner than it might have otherwise wound up, but that was probably not altogether a terrible thing because the drinks at the Bus Stop are apparently full-strength (despite the size of the glassware), and hey, a mangled toenail is an excuse to take a vicodin, after all (however I think Nora Charles, who arrived — albeit fashionably — late as usual was ticked off at the somewhat sudden-seeming and certianly a bit disorganized departure, and I did spend all weekend — in-between ice-pack applications — hoping I am not on her bad side because that would be a bleak place to be … Nora?).

Alas, in the process of trying very hard to ignore the fact that my toe was probably (and in fact) bleeding rather steadily, I did not make it to the bathroom of the Bus Stop, so I cannot comment on it.  I can tell you that while I was wandering around the pool tables at the beginnng of the evening, admiring the walls of photographs of the Bar and its many years of dedicated patrons, a very nice woman named Rose thought perphaps I was lost and kindly showed me where the ladies room is (it is behind the Ms Pacman game, not in the pool table room where the gents’ lavatory is located).  So, in lieu of a Bathroom Biography, I will tell you three other useful things to know about the Bus Stop: (1) they do take credit cards; (2) they have a sign that says they charge an automatic 15% gratuity on all open tabs; (3) you cannot actually see yourself in the mirrors that are behind all the bottles on the wall Behind the Bar, which is annoying, but the wall opposite the bar is a giant mirror you can see yourself in (if you don’t mind wandering into the midst of the table-hugging 25-somethings who may already be looking askance at you, especially if you are openly consorting with Zombies).

Oh, and lest you think this toe thing was trivial, it actually trumped the Offical Photo outside the Bar.  This has led to a new Policy: the Official Photo will henceforth be taken at the beginning of the Offical Visit.  Missing 2 shots out of 15 is enough already!  This also pushes back our visit to the # 16 Bar, because I need to convalesce a bit until I am in shape to salsa with Jonny-Georgia.  In the meantime, why don’t you go to the Bus Stop and tell me what their bathrooms are like…?


Cafe Cocomo Bar Grill & Night Club Friday, Jun 22 2007 

650 Indiana ~ WEBSITE ~ (415) 824-6910

7:30 PM (or as close thereto as the #22 Fillmore will get you thereabouts) Wednesday 13 June 2007

Prologue: It’s official: I am going on an upcoming Wednesday — Wednesday June 13th, to be precise — for the salsa lessons, of course. (Wanda gave me some impromtu salsa lessons, once upon a time, but I’m way beyond rusty in the the department of swivelling my hips and moving my feet in a co-ordinated fashion, sad to say.) They also have them on Mondays, but even in Spanish, that doesn’t sound likely to be as happening as a Miercoles noche might be. I love their dress code! (Fail to note it at your own risk.)  My plan is to beg Jonny-Georgia to come learn to salsa with me. And if he takes me up on this offer, this is a sight you won’t want to miss, trust me — ahem.  I’ve actually been to Cafe Cocomo Bar & Grill Night Club before, as part of the far-less-entertaining than-it-sounds Mexican Bus trip. But I’m sure I’ll have more fun this time (especially if Jonny-Georgia is there — ahem) and I’d love it if you could join me.  Come on, don’t make me dance with a stranger — you know how I feel about people!  Now, if you’re coming, bring your dancing shoes, because one should not bother going to the #3-rated Salsa Club in the country if one is not going to dance, as far as The (admitedly somewhat opinionated) Hostess is concerned.  Oh, and anyone who cuts in on me and Jonny-Georgia (if he makes my fondest wish come true and decides to drop in) does so at the risk of some potentially serious bodily harm.  I’m just saying … and really, I saw him first!

Afterword: Let me begin by warning you that Cafe Cocomo Bar Grill & Night Club’s website is not as accurate as the scrupulously researched and meticulously proof-read one you are currently enjoying.  On the evening of the Official Visit, the doors did not open at 7:30 (more like 7:50) and the cover was not $7.00 (it was $8.00),  as advertised on the website.  I would suggest that you call them up to confirm hours, cover charges, etc. before you head there yourself, but they do not seem to answer the phone at Cafe Cocomo Bar Grill & Night Club, so this will probably not be as helpful as one might wish.

The good news is that it’s a little tricky to actually get to Cafe Cocomo Bar Grill & Night Club, so you might be running late, and your late arrival might co-incide nicely with their late unlocking of the gates.  Never mind the confusing lack of any sense of order in the way those “state streets” are laid out (I was thinking perhaps reverse alphabetical order, but no, that’s not it either), the 600-block of Indiana Street is one of those M.C. Escher-esque types that you can see from other surrounding streets, but any way to reach it remains perplexing for a lap or two and a few re-crossings of the 280 overpass.  (Or at least it does if you are me, and only have two maps, and are enjoying a balmy fog-free evening which means that there is sun in your eyes.)

If you go on a Wednesday night, once you manage to get yourself onto the proper block, parking will be no problem, as there is nothing else around but non-descript looking buildings.  I do wonder who decided to put a night club there, but perhaps feeling as if you have travelled to an exotic and far-off locale is what they were going for. 

So Wanda and I loitered around until they finally unlocked the chain link gates and let us in with barely enough time to order — much less consume —  a margarita before the salsa lessons were to begin.  Fortunately for us, the bartender was all ready to mix us up a couple (from scratch — of course — none of that nasty pre-mixed madness, thank goodness!).  His name was Ken (hi, Ken!) and I resolved to spend more quality time with him when I was done looking silly on the dance floor, which was one of the many things I was there to do, after all.

And look silly I did — as will you, should you decide “to bravely go”, etc. — but everyone else looks silly, too, so it doesn’t matter.  Learning to salsa dance in a group is one of those things which you will either think is fun and perhaps a little goofy, or you will hate (in which case you will probably not be learning to salsa dance in a group — now will you? — so not to worry).  It’s even easy — at least at first.  The instructor has everybody stand up and he shows you the basic steps, and you practice the hip-swivelling in time with the feet-moving thing, and then they turn on music, too, and pick up the pace a little, and just when you think you might be getting it, the instructors re-arrange you into a circle around them and instruct you to get a partner and put into practice what you have just learned, by which they mean: Dance — and probably with a stranger (especially if the person you invited specifically to avoid dancing with a stranger hasn’t shown up)!

Actually, even if the dance partner of your dreams is there, the instructors make everyone switch partners so that everyone gets to dance with everybody else.  This is good, because you might otherwise get stuck dancing for longer than you might like with any particular stranger.  But it is also not so good, because one thing about paired couple dancing is that at least one of you needs to have some sort of clue what you are doing, and when you are talking about a group of people taking basic salsa lessons, this means that a fair number of the opposite sex is going to have no clue, and therefore not be much help to you.

Unless you are a fabulous dancer like Wanda is, and then you can be the one with the clue (and the moves!) and you can help your partner.  If, however, you are more like me, you might find yourself gazing wistfully over your shoulder at your margarita, wishing you could sit down and have a sip or two before all the ice melts.  If you are on my page at this point, and really feel like you have gotten your $8.00 worth with the footwork part of the lesson, then when the instructors add fancy spins into the mix, you will definitely become entrenched in the “clueless” camp (if only in your own mind).

This is when having extra people on hand who know how to salsa would come in handy.  Alas, that night there was a shortage of males, clueless or otherwise, but that meant I finally could make it back to my lonely margarita while I waited for it to be the next hapless chap’s turn to have me demonstrate my cluelessness in his arms (which did not seem to be as bad as it sounds, judging from the various reactions to having to dance with me).

The funny thing was, it was still pretty fun.  I never got very good at putting all the swivelling and stepping and spinning together, but I did learn that all a girl really needs to do is follow the boy’s lead, and there were a couple of them there with enough of a clue that I got some in some pretty good spins.  Especially when I danced with the instructor, who refused to let me keep protesting that I wasn’t any good at the spinning part.  He basically did away with any trace of the lessons he had just taught us and spun me around so much I started thinking maybe he had spun me back into the ’70’s and I was in “Saturday Night Fever“, thereby confirming my theory that it only takes one person who has a clue to make two people look pretty spiffy on the dance floor (see also: “Dirty Dancing“).

I learned later, while chatting with Ken, that, completely contrary to what I had imagined (what else is new?), Monday nights are actually busier than Wednesdays.  It’s still not packed on lunes like on the weekends, Ken says, but more people than were there on that particular miercoles should statistically mean more males, which could translate into the potential for more Fun (and/or cluelessness, but whatever).  The place is pretty vast, by San Francisco Bar (and bar) standards, and I would definitely recommend it for group outings of any sort (unless it is a group of people too uptight to have fun learning how to salsa dance with a stranger or two, but why would you want to hang out with a group of those kinds of people?).  In point of fact, that age-old cliche “the more, the merrier” is one of Bars By The Book’s guiding principles (as long as “the more” is not excessive, and does not throw cigarette butts on the ground), so a place such as Cafe Cocomo Bar Grill & Night Club is a good one to have up one’s sleeve.

Now, I am aware that what you really want to know is what happened after Jonny-Georgia got there (which you know he did because this post has been tagged with his name since the morning after on account of the fact I knew I had to give you something to satisfy at least a scrap of your curiosity until I had time to write up this re-cap properly).  What happened was … it had been so long since I had laid eyes on Jonny-Georgia that I barely recognized him when he strolled in.

But once I got within dazzling distance of those dimples of his, there was no mistaking him for anyone else.  Since he had (purposely — the rascal!) missed the lesson portion of the evening, when we finally did dance it bore no resemblance whatsoever to salsa-ing, but I didn’t care because I will dance anytime, anyplace, anywhich way with Jonny-Georgia (in case you couldn’t tell).  Being the fine and generous friend that I am, I even urged Wanda to dance with him — which she somewhat mistifyingly declined to do.  Come to think of it, she may have had my above-mentioned comment about “bodily harm” in mind…

In any event, I was so distracted after Jonny-Georgia finally showed up that I forgot to check for hooks while he was buying me a margarita (maybe Ken can help me out on this, Ken?).  I couldn’t even take my eyes off him long enough to look for smoking refuse receptacles outside (but surely somewhere, on such a lovely patio, festively lit with twinkly lights winding around and amidst palm trees and all, there must be some kind of ashtrays, right?).  It’s a good thing newly adopted Bars By The Book protocol mandates that I take the Official Picture before the merriment commences or I probably would have forgotten that (again) too!

Being as I am not the sort of girl to kiss and tell (so to speak), you will have to ask Wanda what happened after we decided to call it a night and offered to give Jonny-Georgia a lift to somewhere he would have a prayer of catching a cab.  I won’t even ask her to refrain from divluging the details (such as any there may or may not be).  However I will tell you this much (since I have the otherwise inexplicable unphotogenic photographic evidence to prove it): Jonny-Georgia and I are much better in person.  For that matter, so is this whole Bars By The Book lark.  Believe it or not, even my captivating and witty prose does not completely convey the true nature of the Official Visits.  By which I mean that you should really join me — either for the first time or more often.  While I can’t guarantee how much fun you’ll have, I can bet you a drink that being there is at least as entertaining as reading about it, and definitely easier than salsa lessons!

Bathroom Biography:
Perhaps the proprietors of Cafe Cocomo Bar Grill & Night Club have gotten a little carried away with their whole “let’s make them think they are south of a lot more than than the Mission” aesthetic when it comes to the restrooms.  This might explain the basically disastrous condition in which I found the ladies’ room.  Otherwise, the management needs to schedule much more thorough and frequent cleanings, to say nothing of doing something about the garrish lighting.  Bottom line: be brave and go for it.  It’s not like there’s anywhere else you can go anywhere in the vicinity, and there’s a good chance you will take a wrong turn (or six) on the way home, so you shouldn’t count on being able to wait.  Just consider it part of the “exotic” atmosphere, and maybe tuck a travel-sized bottle of that hand sanitizer stuff in your purse.  And perhaps take some small comfort in knowing that at least this bathroom is not as bad as the one at Harrington’s Bar & Grill was on a recent un-offical visit, by which I mean it could be (and might yet again be) worse.

Casanova Lounge Wednesday, Dec 27 2006 

527 Valencia ~ WEBSITE ~ (415) 863-9328

4:15 pm Sunday 24 June 2007

Prologue: I’ve been here before, too. Paladin and I ducked in here after the Official Visit to Bar Tartine, so he could get a real drink (i.e. scotch). But I just noticed that Casanova Lounge is the third Bar in a row That Is Also A Cocktail Lounge. That is somewhat stunning, no? Well, I think it is. And I’ll be bringing my fresh perspective to this typically Mission-y dark (but red!), dive-ish (yet vaguely hipster-leaning) Bar this Saturday (or Sunday, as was the case)! So you know: cash only and no ATM on the premises, which means bring money.

To clarify: you will find me at Casanova Lounge at or around 4:15 pm Sunday 24 June. This way I can take advantage of their happy hour ($1.00 off all drinks) from 4 – 7, and maybe some of my new bartender friends can make it (what do you say, y’all?) While the recent cyber-chaos on this ridiculous blog has left me needing the kind of night on the town that will most definitely require the better part, if not all, of at least an entire Sunday during which to recuperate, I remember what a nice Sunday afternoon some of us whiled away at Ace’s at the beginning of this adventure, and I think that sort of mellow merriment is more what I should aim for. Sorry for the persistent uncertainty, but as Chica Cherry suggested, perhaps choosing a graduate school wiped out my decision-making abilities for the forseeable future.

Afterword: Well, it turns out that Casanova Lounge is more orange than red, which you can tell if you are there on a sunny afternoon like I was. Also, despite their website stating that they do not have an ATM on the premises, there is, in fact, an ATM inside the Bar itself, right next to the door. There’s even a window, where you can enjoy the sunny vista (unless a large biker is already perched at the high table there, waiting for his boyfriend). Casanova Lounge does have the jukebox they tout-muchly on their website (more about that in a bit) and they also have not one — but four — comfy leather sofas past the bar in the back, plus another one on a small stage, so it would be a good place to arrange to meet someone you wanted to cuddle up next to for some alcohol-feuled public displays of affection. Believe you me, as the minutes ticked past and Marquise Marie did not appear, ringing up Jonny-Georgia occurred to me more than once.

Yes, I was there to meet my long-lost friend the Marquise. I was so looking forward to our happy reunion, that I didn’t even mind when my initial survey of Casanova Lounge revealed the somewhat distressing fact that the place has no back exit. By which I mean, if one were there enjoying a Long Island Iced Tea and a police officer or two were to come in looking for someone to wrongly arrest and falsely imprison, one would have to hope that they would choose another patron to harass, because there would be no way to make a run for it, so to speak, without accomplishing the highly unlikely feat of getting past the cops and then out the front door. This purely hypothetical musing has prompted a new category: “The Bars Where One Can Hightail It Out the Back”. This category does not appear at present, because a category must have an applicable post before it shows up, but I will continue to seek such an important feature in subsequent establishments and let you know where I find it. (After all, this is the sort of thing some people might find very useful to know when deciding on a Bar.)

Anyway, I got to Casanova Lounge just after they opened, so the place was pretty empty (aforementioned biker notwithstanding). I sat at the bar, confirmed hooks (and an unpleasant amount of gum), and ordered a Long Island Iced Tea (entirely co-incidental to the previous mention of this drink, I assure you). The bartender mixed me something that was tasty enough, but bore little resemblance to a glass of several different alcohols mixed with just enough Coke to pass as a glass of iced tea — which is the pretty much the point of this particular cocktail — but it was a sunny day, I was meeting Marquise Marie, and I was at a Bar, so I didn’t let this bother me.

What did start to bother me was the funky way the bar area smelled. Now I know Casanova Lounge is basically a dive bar in the Mission, and it was Sunday so the place was bound to be showing some wear and tear from the wild weekend, but an unpleasant odor is not what I want to experience from any barstool. So I was kicking it on one of the couches when Marquise Marie finally arrived.

Truth be told, we were so giddy about catching up with each other, really, we could have been anywhere. Even when a pretty below-average dj unplugged the allegedly legendary jukebox and started playing his uninspired set, we didn’t care too much. Friendship trumps sloppy drinks and crappy music every time. We barely noticed the funky lights and painting of mostly naked women on the walls. I must say, though, Casanova Lounge is really not the best Bar in which to while away an afternoon — Sunday, sunny, or otherwise. Much better spots for that would be Ace’s, Bloom’s Saloon, or of course The Black Horse London Pub. But if you are in the Mission at night, with a thirst for something liquor-ish, the Casanova Lounge will suffice. Especially if you have in tow someone you’d like to canoodle and there’s couch space available when you pop your head in. Unless, of course, you are — or have reason to suspect you might potentially be caused to be — on the lam, given the lack of an exit via which you can hightail it out the back, should this be necessary.

Bathroom Biography:
The bars on the windows pretty much preclude them as emergency exits. Other than that, the adjective that is most fitting is “desultory”. While there are worse bathrooms in other Bars, these just don’t match the aesthetic of the front of the house. An effort at some sort of decoration really should be made.

Costellos Four Deuces Wednesday, Dec 27 2006 

2319 Taraval ~ (415)731-2164 566-9122

6:30pm Saturday 8 December 2007

Prologue: Unless I’m mistaken, this marks a new direction for Bars By The Book. Have we ventured West of Divisadero before? Well, we’ve certainly never been within (admitedly somewhat pushing the envelope of) strolling distance of the Great Highway before, so there’s the value-added possibility of a tipsy moonlit walk on the beach (weather and footwear permitting). Plus, this oddly-named Bar is also a Cocktail Lounge, so it’ll be like stabbing two olives with one toothpick (or something). I will personally be fresh from the salon (because, after all, nothing fosters the elusive “holiday spirit” like spending an obscene amount of money on one’s coiffure), so do your hair and do make your way Westward for what will be, at least, a fetching Official Picture. Just be sure to bring cash, because Costellos Four Deuces does not take credit cards, and who knows how far away the closest ATM will be that far out in the Avenues?

Afterword:  Leave it to The Hostess to walk into a Bar and plop down on a stool in between the owner and his cousin.  And leave it to Bars By The Book to assure you that it won’t be the last time I pay a visit to Costellos Four Deuces.  This place could make one consider moving this far out in the Avenues, just so it could be one’s neighborhood Bar.  When you hear the whole story (coming soon!), you’ll want to travel out there yourself to check it out…

Koko Tuesday, Dec 26 2006 

1060 Geary

(415) 885-4788

Plough & Stars, The Tuesday, Dec 26 2006 

116 Clement

(415) 751-1122

Savoy Tivoli, The Tuesday, Dec 26 2006 

1434 Grant Avenue

(415) 362-7023

Specs’ Twelve Adler Museum Cafe Tuesday, Dec 26 2006 

12 Saroyan Place

(415) 421-4112

Yancy’s Saloon Tuesday, Dec 26 2006 

734 Irving Street (415) 665-6551