New Bar And Restaurant The Snug Now Open On Fillmore Street

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The Snug
The Snug

Photo Credit: Jonathan Racusin

Pacific Heights has lacked a proper cocktail bar of a certain panache for some time, so when I first heard about The Snug, an ambitious new watering hole on the corner of Fillmore and Clay Streets, I was intrigued. The Snug opened last week with a preview party packed with bearded hipsters and PYTs. From a team of industry veterans—Zack Schwab, Shane Matthews, Brian Shin, and Jacob Racusin—The Snug hopes to be the everyday hang out that the neighborhood is missing. Schwab and Matthews are behind the craft beer selection, Shin oversees the kitchen, and Racusin is in charge of the cocktails.

The Yellow Rose cocktail
The Yellow Rose cocktail

Photo Credit: Jonathan Racusin

The beer program features a rotating selection of cider and beer from local breweries. There are 14 taps and a cask engine that serves real ale, along with an assortment of bottled beers—sours, strong ales, and stouts. Racusin, who comes from The Alembic, has created a cocktail menu that focuses on seasonality and house-made ingredients. The old-fashioned is made with a house-blended bourbon and a frothy Bee’s Knees has sunflower-infused vodka instead of the classic gin. “Every cocktail on our menu will have at least one element that’s made in-house,” Racusin explained in a statement. “We want to highlight classic cocktails people know and love but put our own unique spin on them with a personal   touch. But if you just want a beer and a shot, you’ll still feel right at home.”

Shin's pork trotter hot dog and beer
Shin’s pork trotter hot dog and beer

Photo Credit: Jonathan Racusin

Shin, who worked in kitchens at Benu and In Situ, is serving upscale bar snacks with a contemporary twist. There is a hot dog made from pork trotter, a spam musubi lettuce wrap made with house-made spam, and Korean fried chicken wings. It’s a small menu that will most likely be updated once The Snug settles into itself.

An upstairs seating area at The Snug
An upstairs seating area at The Snug

Photo Credit: Jonathan Racusin

The decor is masculine and almost cabin-like. Britt Hull of Tide Design Co. created the space with plenty of nooks to tuck into. These intimate spots were inspired by a “snug” or a sectioned off area found in traditional Irish pubs. The long bar was made from reclaimed Douglas Fir found on the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. It’s a cozy setting with vintage games and hand-crafted details that the team built themselves.

House-blended bourbon
House-blended bourbon

Photo Credit: Jonathan Racusin

Matthews personally greets customers with a handshake and warm smile. “The Snug is meant to be the kind of place where you know you’re always welcome, whether you’re popping in for one drink or looking for a great meal,” Matthews said. “We believe that top-notch product doesn’t need to be served with any attitude or pretension. We just want people to be comfortable and enjoy themselves.” We couldn’t agree more.

The Snug is open now from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Outdoor seating and brunch to come.

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