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The Gold Dust has long been a San Francisco institution, heralded by the late Herb Caen as "the last of the authentic nightcapperies" -- a rave that must have delighted owners Jimmy and Tasios Vovis, who've plastered it all over the walls. Unfortunately the original Union Square location closed in 2012 after a controversial dispute with the building's landlord, but the bar's beloved antique lamps and oil paintings were packed up and moved to a new Fisherman's Wharf space in early 2013.
This spot is on the tourist trail and in the midst of shopping hell. But, it's a throwback to the Gold Rush Days! Hello Barbary Coast! Get cheap, cheap libations including Irish Coffee with home made whipped cream! The staff rock, there's a live band and it is just a cozy spot in the middle of madness.
Mai tai at Zaré at Fly Trap -- Zaré's top-shelf rendition of Trader Vic's most famous creation involves freshly squeezed lime juice, spicy-smoky Appleton Estate Jamaican rum, a shot of Cointreau, and Small Hand's artisanal almond-apricot orgeat, stirred with ice and served on the rocks with a halved lime and a sprig of mint. It's a sweet, floral, citrusy triumph. Irish coffee at the Gold Dust Lounge -- Despite its red-plush gilded-bordello tourist-trap trappings, the Gold Dust... More »
The Gold Dust has long been a San Francisco institution, heralded by the late Herb Caen as "the last of the authentic nightcapperies" -- a rave that must have delighted owners Jimmy and Tasios Vovis, who've plastered it all over the walls. The décor is decidedly old-school -- imagine that '30s-era bar from The Shining, minus the creepy bartender -- and the drinks are refreshingly cheap before 8:30 p.m., when the veteran house band serves up a mix of Dixieland jazz and blues. And while... More »
There are two kinds of bartenders in this world: Those who pour drinks, and those who elevate their profession to a level that approaches art. At the Gold Dust Lounge, you find the latter breed. Phil the bartender makes a mean Flaming Lamborghini (it's not quite as potent as the version we've had on the Greek island of Ios, but a lot less likely to result in dancing atop the bar). As for Chuck the bartender, he's the author of the San Francisco Bartender's Workbook, so if you've got a... More »
To drop by Union Square's Gold Dust Lounge and see Chuck the bartender do his thing -- he may layer you a Fuzzy Nipple (Kahlúa, peach schnapps, and Irish cream) or fire a straw out of an empty liquor bottle in a whoosh of flame (the "Protestant... More »
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