We Wanna Be Friends With: Phil West and Jeff Lyons of Range


Our city is chock-full of interesting people and wild personalities. Overwhelmed by the coolness? Every week we'll pick one standout local we'd love to be friends with to answer seven essential questions about their life in San Francisco.

Range co-owner Phil West and bar manager Jeff Lyons pump out some of our favorite cocktails in the city. Although their current spot has been going strong since 2005 (check out their new Aperitif Hour we just wrote about), the two are setting out on a new boozy venture set to open this fall, called The Third Rail. Located on 20th St. at 3rd, the Dogpatch bar will be a stellar addition to the up-and-coming 'hood. Although their new space won't have a kitchen, it will have something even better–a jerky bar.

*We'll let that sink in.*

The jerky bar will reportedly be like a meaty, big-kid version of a candy bar, and will feature both homemade and Prather Ranch jerky. The space is also set to be designed by fellow Mission mainstay Paxton Gate, so we expect it to be a visual feast too. We chatted with both Phil and Jeff for our first ever duel We Wanna Be Friends With Q&A.  

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?  

PW: Mission. Very happy with the hood and all it has to offer.  I walk to work all the time, I don’t even know what a commute is.

JL: I live in the sort of no-man’s-land between Noe Valley, the Mission and Bernal Heights. I moved here a year ago after living most of my 16 SF years in the Mission. It’s pretty mellow down here compared to the years I lived on Valencia and 22nd or 23rd and York, but I’ve found that I really don’t mind the peace and quiet! I like this area, but I wouldn’t mind trying another neighborhood. This city has so many great areas that it’s tough to get too micro-regional.

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

PW: La Palma Mexicatessen – tortillas de mano, always sold hot – you can just eat them plain and they are delicious.

JL: That is an impossibly difficult question to answer, but I can’t be without the carnitas tacos at Buen Sabor for very long, and I love Ichi Sushi. Sit at Tim’s sushi bar and let him serve you whatever he wants!

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

PW: Kissing the kids goodnight and having cocktails out with my better half.

JL: For me it’s all about the company I’m with. When I’m with great people it doesn’t matter if we’re at a dive bar or a fancy-schmancy 20-course prix fixe.

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?

PW: A lounge chair in my backyard with a crossword puzzle.

JL: My girlfriend introduced me to the walk out at Land’s End…pretty hard to beat those views, and the cool, fresh air really clears the ol’ head.

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

PW: Oakland zoo with the young 'uns.

JL: I’ve always loved hiking in Marin. The Steep Ravine and Dipsea trails are beautiful, especially in the spring when the creeks are full.

6. Quick-fire round:

Burrito or Burger?

PW: Burrito.

JL: Burrito. 

Presidio or Golden Gate Park?

PW: GG. 

JL: Presidio.

Bi-Rite or Mitchell's?

PW: Mitchell’s.

JL: Mitchell’s.

Bike or MUNI?

PW: Bike.

JL: Bike

Fort Mason or Dolores Park?

PW: Dolores Park but only in the morning before the hoards arrive. 

JL: Fort Mason. 

The Independent or the Fillmore?

PW: I haven’t seen live music in 15 years.

JL: Fillmore. 

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach?

PW: Baker Beach.

JL: Ocean Beach. 

7. Three words that describe your life in SF?

PW: Crazy, exhausting, exhilarating

JL: Life. Is. Good.  

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