Restaurant/Cocktails=Bar/Food?

An interesting phenomena of recent years has been the bar with really tasty food.

When we first moved to San Francisco, circa the early 90s, the restaurant and cocktail worlds were pretty separate.

You could get awesome food in many restaurants, but rarely in those same restaurants could you get good cocktails. Actually, often you couldn’t get ANY cocktails at all. Wine was King in upscale dining. And while you could get good cocktails in bars, rarely could you get food much more advanced than fries and an adequate burger.

I hate to single out one person and one restaurant, but I think when the Slanted Door added cocktails and allowed Thad Vogler to bring his vision of upscale cocktails in upscale dining locations to that restaurant, and every other restaurant he worked in after, it was the shot heard ’round the world, at least in the Bay Area.

Suddenly, you could get a good drink that wasn’t wine in a fancy restaurant.

More recently that idea has been turned on its head by bars like Alembic, Trick Dog, Old Bus, and Tosca Cafe, some of which have been making the Chronicle annual Best Restaurants list. Suddenly, you can get not just an OK burger in a BAR, but REALLY good food.

However, having REALLY good food in a bar means that people who wouldn’t ordinarily be going out to bars to drink/drank/drunk with their friends, like, say, ME, have a reason to visit those selfsame bars.

And while I know Trick Dog has always made a point of having non-alcoholic options, (thanks to fellow traveler Josh Harris,) Tosca Cafe shows that this isn’t always the case at this arguably new form of bar/restaurant.

IF you are going to the trouble to have food which might attract a larger audience than your average bar, THEN perhaps you should also provide some beverage menu options for those of us who might not otherwise be attracted to hang out in your bar.

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