The Weeknighter: The Buckshot
Weekends are for amateurs. Weeknights are for pros. That's why each week Stuart Schuffman will be exploring a different San Francisco bar, giving you the lowdown on how and where to do your weeknight right. From the most creative cocktails to the best happy hours, Stuart's taking you along on his weeknight adventures into the heart of the City's nightlife. So, who wants a drink?
There was awhile in 2011 when I spent every Tuesday at The Buckshot. Between doing a book tour for Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply and filming Young, Broke, and Beautiful, I was on the road a lot that year and it was my way of spending time with my then girlfriend. She basically said, “Look motherfucker, you’re never here, so when you are you gotta come out and support me during my skeeball league.” She had a valid point, so I spent many Tuesday nights out on the part of Geary Street that’s caught someplace between being the Richmond, Laurel Heights, or just a suburb of USF.
Adorned with an impressive collection of animal heads and other taxidermy, The Buckshot is like if douchey Dave and Buster’s had a cool-as-hell, punk rock, little brother with a hunting addiction. Besides skeeball, patrons can play darts, shuffleboard, pool, and multitude of arcade games including Big Buck Hunter (of course). While the game room aspect of The Buckshot may have been what put it on the map, the kitchen helps keep people there. Serving up things like handmade corndogs, burgers, fried chicken, and chicken fried bacon (good god!), the grub helps soak up the booze you consume in this hard drinker's establishment. This is probably a good thing, because it slows down the time it takes to make the poor decisions you’re inevitably going to make. The Buckshot is just that kind of bar, which is one of its many charms. Another one is that they have the best name for a drink special ever. The Ike Turner for $12 is “a shot o’ Hennessy & a slap in yo face.” See what I mean when I say it’s just that kind of bar?
As you can imagine, after spending just one evening at my ex-girlfriend’s skeeball league, I began to look forward to Tuesday nights. I’d invite some of my friends out to the bar and we’d get drunk on skeeball, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and booze. Actually just booze, but we’d cheer people on even more enthusiastically because of it. Like the time the bartender hit a bullseye on the dartboard from behind the bar. Oh man did we cheer then…until he did it a few times in a row and we just realized he had a lot of time on his hands. Or when the bar played one of the most demented, twisted, and bloody B horror films I’d ever seen. Actually, we averted our eyes more than we cheered, but you get the point: The Buckshot is fucking awesome!
Seeing as I’m no longer involved with a league skeeballer, I haven’t made it out to The Buckshot in quite some time. But I do think about it often. I think about the time the cook asked me if I was Broke-Ass Stuart and when I said yes, told me his girlfriend had a crush on me in college. When I laughed and asked who she was, he gave me the hairy eyeball and said “I’m never telling you!” and then turned his attention to something else. I also think about all the cute and flirty college girls I saw there the one weekend night I ever went. And now, as I’m writing this and all those funny and strange memories have come back to me, all I can think of is “Why the hell aren’t I going to The Buckshot tonight?” I’m in dire need of that kind of bar.
Stuart Schuffman has been called "an Underground legend" by the SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero" by the SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap" by Time Out New York. Follow him @BrokeAssStuart.