The Great Debate Continues
Curing Olives at Home, Part II

Bars Inside Other Bars

In my latest story for San Francisco Magazine, I talk about bars opening inside other bars.


Photograph by Chris Brennan

Make it a double

These bars within bars offer patrons a choice of drinking styles.
By Camper English

The hottest haute cocktails require a range of syrups, bitters, fresh herbs, several types of gin, a lot of storage space, and extra time to make every drink. One way in which bar owners are handling the demand is by dividing and conquering, opening two bars in a single venue—one to promote quick service, the other for slow sipping.

Until recently, the back room at Dalva was a barren spot more suited for storage than for socializing, and it was often used by customers sneaking illegal indoor cigarettes. But with a fresh coat of paint and a bit of remodeling, including a custom-made bar and wrought-iron accents, this area has been rebranded as a boutique interior cocktail lounge called the Hideout. 

Continue reading the story at the San Francisco Magazine website


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The Library at Bourbon and Branch works if you want to stop by last minute and it's too late to get a reservation. However, a bar w/in a bar seems silly if it's just a regular old bar (no reservations). Do they charge more or less? Not sure I see the need especially if it's just as crowded as the main bar.

Camper English

One bar for slow and fancy drinks, one bar for fast and boring drinks. It works.


I was recently in Washington D.C. and at Derek and Tom Brown's The Passenger there is a new bar opening the back of their current establishment called The Columbia Room which will be a reservations only specialty cocktail bar that will accommodate 18 people at anyone time. They will be serving a cocktail coursed meal there and will specialize in the classics. It looks to be a very classy affair and it was set to open this weekend. I can't wait to go back.


Kind of like The Varnish within Cole's French Dip spot in Downtown LA? I dunno; that's the difference between a speakeasy and a riff-raf bar, which makes sense. Two of the same thing wouldn't, so much.

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