Reservations are required at this swanky, dim lit unmarked bar known for some of the best handcrafted cocktails in in the city. Bourbon and Branch is unlike any other in America as all the spirits are hand selected by merit and offered in an array of different settings that hit just as strong as the bespoke spirit in the glass.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Travis Platt Contributing writer
At Bourbon & Branch, the house rules are simple. The number-one regulation leading the list is “Please Speak-Easy.” A solid law, though it certainly isn’t easy to see all the layers quietly spoken of within this cocktail clubhouse. While most prohibition-based bars mimic the ambiance of the past, Bourbon & Branch simply continues its own trend, as a notorious speakeasy existed in this location in 1923 under the name JJ Russell’s Cigar Shop. Needless to say, they weren’t selling many cigars.
Like the real thing, Bourbon & Branch will make you work to lay eyes on the hidden depths located within its underbelly of greatness. Enter the main bar by buzzing the door located on Jones. Inside, be ready to expand your knowledge on the most distinct cocktails and spirits in San Francisco. Some of the finest sections include hand-numbered Noah’s Mill bourbon and Tapatio XA tequila, which isn’t available anywhere else in the U.S.
Within Bourbon & Branch is The Library, which offers a more personal experience. The walls inside are lined with boundless novels, the perfect environment to share stories while you knock back your drink. Simply ring the buzzer on O’Farrell and use the password “books” for entry.
The third institution, Wilson Wilson Detective Agency, is the most stealthy spot to sip drinks, though you’ll need a password for this one supplied through a secure reservation. Let’s go a bit deeper, to Russells Room, located behind a bookshelf and constructed to look like the original cigar shop in 1923, a worthy space for a private event.
It’s clear that the Bourbon community has many branches offering excitement as you prepare for your next libation. It may take work overtime to see it all, but it is truly worth it. For the adventurous, enter with a plan to seek the inner caverns of hidden spoils. For the laid-back, grab a table in the main bar and enjoy one of the best cocktails on the West Coast. And if you hear “easy speak” of The Ipswitch, a rumored fifth concealed bar, know that only the faint of heart go that deep.
Lets straight to business, reservations here for an unforgettable night of libations
All spirits are hand selected, and considered the best in the world from the team slinging the drinks
In the main room is open and comfortable to grab a bite and curve the appetite
Navigate the layers, and find your preferred part. There is something for everyone in Bourbon and Branch