Mixing business with pleasure, hotel bars have always been an intersection between the transient and the native: a place for travelers and locals alike to imbibe in specialties of San Francisco but still have a classic perfect Tom Collins. Whether it’s the first stop, the last stop or the only stop for an evening out, each one of these places has the mixologists, atmosphere and exclusivity to be globally enticing to all.
1 Redwood Room
This is the only lounge in San Francisco to consistently see a fantastically chic crowd clad in Christian Louboutins and Charvet. Ian Schrager’s method for success is to make a hotel sexy with an exclusive hotel bar and this place falls right in line. The roaming eyed paintings on the wall and dark wooden interior set the mood for a lush night. Try the signature Moscow Mule. The Redroom room has a buzz in the early evening but around 11PM, a DJ or live band will come by and morph the low key lounge into more of a club, complete with bottle service. By the looks of the line of exotic automobiles outside of the place, it’s certainly drawing in the right crowd.
495 Geary Street
2 Chambers Eat + Drink
Despite the shabby and quite frankly scary location in the Tenderloin, Chambers is an oasis of style and taste. This is the new hotspot lounge with an outdoor area that includes seating by the pool. Sip on a #8 Pisco punch to re-enact your Melrose Place days. The interior is decorated in a retro glamour style with worn leather, New England plaids and the walls are lined with vintage records ala Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, et al. At the back of the bar is a lit up sign stating “BE AMAZING.” With the top notch tri-tip steak and numbered drinks on the menu, Chambers certainly is.
601 Eddy Street
3 Living Room Bar & Upstairs (Trace)
Like all W Hotels, the lobby bar is a hot hang out spot, great for mingling and people watching. Sleekly renovated from it's former life as XYZ bar, it's now outfitted mostly black and white with modern amethyst flashes. Going up the stairs will lead you to a quieter area, aptly named Ustairs where you can hang out but not feel as if you need to get decked out. Located right near the Moscone Center, it’s often packed during convention days, making the lobby a 24-hour party. Another convenience is that it’s within walking proximity to other nightlife spots so it can be great for a first drink or a final night cap with perhaps a epilogue upstairs.
181 3rd St
Located on the edge of FiDi and the Embarcadero, the Americano is an Italian cuisine restaurant and bar that has a spacious outdoor patio perfect for a much needed after work alcoholic beverage. Nonetheless, since the hotel is quite popular, the clientele of the Americano will be a mixed bag of tourists, businessmen, lots of worker bees from nearby and even pretty young things. In the winter, they keep the patio buzzing with space heaters and an outdoor cover. Have a taste of the heady Seta or a perfectly mixed Sidecar and wind after a long day.
8 Mission Street
5 The View
For a quieter space, the View is located on the 39th floor of the Mariott, which allows for 360 degree views of the city as the sunsets and the fog rolls in. At night, the architecturally enhanced windows allow for the city lights to shine exceptionally bright. The place is intimate and upscale but the California casual uniform of jeans mingles in with pencil skirts. This is a great place to bring a first date or friends from out of town. The Ginger Pear and Tequila Gimlet are the perfect associates to smoothe over any awkward silences.
55 4th St