Bend an elbow at each of San Francisco's best bar openings in 2014.
Vibe: Hipster Casual
In today’s SF, we might put this bar on the list solely for keeping their cocktails $10 or less. It doesn’t hurt that the bar is also from the owner of Dalva and an alum from Beretta and Bourbon & Branch each, meaning all these (relatively) cheap tipples are a lot better than your typical vodka soda. Bonus: the bar bites are pretty amazing too. 3174 16th St, between Guerrero and Albion
Barrel Head Brewhouse (NOPA)
This huge, two story space is the perfect beer bar to come with a large group of your friends. With 30 brews on tap (including 3 housemade beers) all served from an inactive (we hope) torpedo and a full bar with an extensive bourbon/whisky/whiskey selection, this is the perfect spot to unwind or wind-up for a night out.1785 Fulton St, at Masonic
Bartlett Hall (Union Square)
A welcome respite from the usual Union Square frenzy, this brewery cum comfort food restaurant cum sports bar is not too touristy to scare away native San Franciscans and, while the cocktails tend to be updated twists on classics, the extensive beer list also includes on-site brewed Golden Gate Brewing Co beers that are pumped directly from fermentation to the taps. 242 O’Farrell St, at Cyril Magnun
Vibe: Casual Nerdy Chic
Opening just in time to make it in 2014’s best bars, the hotly anticipated beer bar and arcade from the owners of Blackbird, Brewcade, delivers on all its promises. While you’re drinking from the 25-strong draft program headed by Monk’s Kettle alum, Kai Villegas, you can play over 50 classic arcade games on 24 different machines. You’ll find us sipping a Linden St. brew and
trying to finally beat The Simpsons. 2200 Market St #102, at 15th
Interval at Long Now (Marina)
Vibe: Effie Trinket
Whatever you say about this bar, it certainly doesn’t lack character. Part of the Long Now Foundation, which aims to promote thinking and planning on a 10,000 year scale, that doesn’t stop them from offering a great, history-steeped drink menu from a Slanted Door alum, which you can sip while browsing their thousands of books curated to help rebuild society. 2 Marina Blvd, at Fort Mason
Vibe: Meaty (Casual)
One might not necessarily think a BBQ spot’s gonna have a great bar program, but when informed its from the Magnolia Brewery people, one would drastically alter their preconceived notions. Not only are the beers (obviously) fantastic and straight from the brewery (which is housed in the back) but they have great cocktails like the unique Dutchman’s Flat which incorporates both beef bouillon and toasted nori. 2505 3rd St, at 22nd
Vibe: Techy, packed
The hidden little brother to Oddjob’s name aptly stands for Standing Room Only, but this extremely tiny bar is worth it for the experience. With no menu to speak of, you’ll just tell bartender Joey Picchi what you normally enjoy drinking, and he’ll whip you up something unique and inspired that will likely involve ingredients you’d never thought you’d love so much. 9 Washburn St, at Mission
Trou Normand (SoMa)
Vibe: Upscale European
When Thad Vogler, the owner of Bar Agricole, opens up a second bar and restaurant, you can pretty much guarantee it’ll be making best lists. Trou Normand’s cocktails are truly exceptional with small batch spirits and Cognac, Calvados, and Armagnac exclusive to the restaurant. Don’t miss the charcuterie while you’re sipping cocktails, either. 140 New Montgomery St, at Natoma
Vibe: Upscale dive/Casual
This year heralded the opening of a much-needed break from the typical SOMA clubbiness in the form of the casual Woodbury. From Kenson Lau (of adjacent Alchemist), you won’t come to this wood and taxidermy-heavy bar for cutting edge mixology, but rather for a laid-back place to hang and grab a drink (possibly from their beer & shot pairing menu) or the off-menu Frito Pie. 685 3rd St, at Townsend
San Francisco Athletic Club— A great sports bar in Lower Pac Heights from the guys behind The Corner Store.
The European—Truly well-thought out cocktails featuring European spirits and excellently evolved takes on classics.