One day the San Andreas Fault will start shaking and a big chunk of Cali will be reborn as an island. But, until then if you’re looking for the island vibe in San Fran, head down to the Union Square area and saddle up at Pacific Cocktail Haven.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Ben Hitch Contributing writer
Nestled at the four corners of some of San Fran’s more eclectic neighborhoods, PCH prides itself on an open door policy to anyone looking to enjoy an evening with intricately crafted cocktails. And as any logo should promote and tell a story, PCH’s pineapple dates back well past you and your grandparents birth to a time where pineapples were showcased at dinner parties as a symbol of welcoming friendship. It does seem odd that a spiky thorned fruit would evoke the pleasantries of a greeting card, but as with PCH, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
eyes up and on the lookout for the collection of tiki mugs featuring Stormtroopers, Spiderman, The Lucky Cat, and even a Wookie.
Naturally, position “A” is belly up at the bar, staring down a bottle collection that would take years to work through even with your best efforts. But the beauty of the collection is that none of the bottles are collecting dust. They all play an integral role in PCH’s expansive cocktail menu, featuring drinks like the Thrilla in Manila, Jean-Claude Pandan and the Hall Pass – to name a few. The menu is a finely tuned puzzle of themed libations rooted by all the basics of vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, agave, and brandy. And where there are island vibes, there is punch serving 5-8 of your closets cronies from a single fishbowl.
Once you’ve embraced the wall of liquor and have a cocktail in hand, you’ll start to take in your surroundings. There are a few barstools up against the front window for the favored sip and judge and across the entryway is a little table tucked in the corner surrounded by sidewalk facing glass providing the most intimate seating of PCH. Opposite the bar is a mantel for your drinks if it comes to standing room only, but don’t waste your time gazing at the front door waiting for Mr/Mrs. Bumble because the wall is lined with an old world map provoking the night’s adventure. And as you pass the bar and make your way to the back room, keep your eyes up and on the lookout for the collection of tiki mugs featuring Stormtroopers, Spiderman, The Lucky Cat, and even a Wookie.
PCH is not the token tiki bar, but the vibe and menu certainly tiptoe around the coastal boundaries of an archipelago. This is a place to hit for a late afternoon libation, post-work cocktail or when the intoxicants of an Underwater Cinema are beckoning your attendance. And when it’s all said and done, remember that the pineapple is a symbolic fruit for Pacific Cocktail Haven to cheers new and old friends.
After a night at PCH, head down the block to Iron Horse for a morning pick me up
If you’re in town over the Holidays, this place has Clark Griswold taking notes
Check the bar side pillar for a chalked cocktail special
If you’re out for a walk with your four-legged furry friend, come on in