The Royal Cuckoo
San Francisco, CA 94110
SF Weekly's Description
This former Mission dive (Belinda's, we hardly knew ye) has taken a sudden turn for the hip. New owners transformed the tiny space into a den of droll anachronistic culture, where vintage lamps cast a subtle glow over a collection of thrift-shop paintings, taxidermy animal heads, and half-quaint/half-quirky retro tchotchkes. You might find a local musician warming the keys of the electric organ in the corner, or perhaps a solo bluesman blowing on his harp, but otherwise the soundtrack comes via a dusty old record player: simply flip through the repurposed library card catalog to find the title of your favorite LP of folksy Americana, classic jazz, trad Latin, tropical exotica, or "Novelty and Beyond," then tell the bartender to slap that platter on the turntable. The most modern thing in the Royal Cuckoo is its signature drink menu - artisanal cocktails being very trendy and "now," of course - so despite the hipster clientele, don't come here looking for the latest high-tech fad. The Royal Cuckoo is the rotary telephone of San Francisco bars.
Tips from foursquare
SF Weekly’s Best Of 2011 Winner – Editorial Pick – BEST NEW BERNAL HEIGHTS BARGreeted by a harmonica-toting bouncer who then passes you to a blind & drunk organ player…
It's dark in here, and there are dead animals hanging from the walls, but records spinning and divine libations make it Eater's go-to in the Outer Mission/Bernal nabe.
Plan on staying longer than you think.
Fantastic cocktails and liquor selection are enough to make this an awesome bar, but add Hammond organ and old-school music on vinyl and you won't want to leave...
Try the Antica Manhattan. And then try another.