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A Tron-Inspired Speakeasy Inside an Arcade Bar in San Francisco

Last night I went to the press preview of The Grid inside Coin-op Game Room in San Francisco to have a look and try the drinks. The room opens tonight and will be open for reservations Thursdays through Saturdays. 

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You enter the room through a fake arcade game door upstairs in the huge venue (that used to be the restaurant Orson back in the day). The space, which has as capacity of 77 people, is mostly done in all white, with one section lit with blue tubing reminiscent of the grid from the video game/movie Tron. 

The drinks, on the other hand, were designed to be as colorful as possible to provide a visual pop in the all-white space. They include:

  • A drink served in The Porthole filled with flowers to change the flavor as the liquid sits inside it
  • Drinks served on colored ice balls- orange ones filled with orange coloring and blue-green ones filled with chlorophyll 
  • Chlorophyll used in other drinks to turn them dark 
  • Edible flowers served as garnishes to several drinks
  • A bee bracelet atop a honey-flavored drink
  • Star Wars tiki mugs
  • A banana dolphin garnish
  • Watermelon caviar on one drink

It's all very fun stuff. The menu had a printing error so the one below should be close to what you see below, but with prices ranging from $14 for the G&T to $22 for the Porthole drink (with refills at $12 for it). 

The flavor format of the cocktails isn't so avant garde - there are things like an advanced Gin & Tonic, a tiki-style drink with rhum agricole and Batavia Arrak, a drink with Singani (similar to pisco) with sake and watermelon shrub. All tasty, but none so bizarre or challenging that they'd turn people off. 

I've been looking for several years for the Big Bright Fun drinks to return to San Francisco (in bars other than tiki bars), and we're finally seeing a return to that with venues like Wildhawk, PCH, and Dirty Habit making drinks bright and juicy again. Death to Brown, Bitter, and Stirred!

Enjoy some photos from the preview below. 

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Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.

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