582 Washington St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
This popular financial district bar and lunch spot, located opposite the TransAm Pyramid, was inspired by the tavernas of the ancient Roman neighborhood, Aventine. The physical space and décor definitely impress, and this is an especially welcoming place to come for business drinks and conversation. The two-level venue boasts the main bar and library room upstairs, and a parlor and private bar downstairs. Well-made cocktails and top-notch wines are featured along with quality beers, plus appetizing bar bites from 2:30 p m. to 9 p.m. Taverna Aventine is a warm setting with beautiful lighting, offering a comfortable transition after work, and is convenient for meeting at lunch as well.
417 Stockton St.
San francisco, CA 94108
Nestled within The Mystic Hotel, the Burritt Room is named in honor of Burritt Alley, the scene of the crime where detective Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer was gunned down in the 1941 cult classic “The Maltese Falcon.” A convenient location for financial district and downtown offices, the tavern’s atmospheric tone transfers beautifully to the handcrafted cocktails served in the walled-in and curtained private booths, heightening the lure of secluded conversation. Along with distinctive cocktails, the Burritt Room features close to 200 wine selections covering an international range. Signature bar bites, dessert and get-comfortable dinner options from executive chef Lucas Knox, a Le Cordon Bleu, Portland Oregon graduate, quickly let you know you made the right choice in coming here.
155 Columbus Ave.
San francisco, CA 94133
Small but oh so cool, the Comstock Saloon looks as historic San Francisco as it can get. The Comstock occupies an historic space that has been serving drinks to San Franciscans since 1907. Here is tradition meets modern drink and menu style in a refined setting offering turn-of-the-century fare that will surprise you. The Comstock is an inviting brew house, wedged between Chinatown, North Beach and the Financial District in the heart of old world San Francisco. In short, it is a pretty special place to talk business over a well-crafted cocktail or a favorite whiskey. Come for happy hour every day of the week from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and stay for dinner.
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
One Ferry Building, Shop 23
San Francisco, CA 94111
The beautiful Ferry Building, a San Francisco classic landmark, is the setting for one of the city’s very best wine bars. This is a perfect spot to get cozy with a glass of delicious wine, and especially fitting for showing off your good taste to a visiting business associate or even a colleague or office buddy. Select from a huge offering of wines from key regions around the world, including wines from California. You can order a taste, glass or an entire bottle to share. The fun and beauty of the two-ounce tasting pours is the ability to try several wines in just-right sample amounts. Order a select cheese or meat plate combo to nibble while you imbibe. Check the website for a schedule of Wine Bar Events throughout the year.
Pied Piper Bar & Grill
2 New Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
The Pied Piper is an uber famous and all-time favorite class-act tavern in San Francisco. The location alone, within the elegant Palace Hotel, gives the Pied Piper the clout to thump other clubby bars around town. The bar’s fan following comes for the warm and comfortable atmosphere, excellent California fare at lunch and dinner and, of course, for the substantial beverage menu featuring a selection of wine, beer and both traditional and signature Palace cocktails. No mention of the Pied Piper would be complete without referring to the bar’s treasured Pied Piper painting; an exquisite piece of art painted expressly for the bar by famed artist Maxfield Parrish in 1909 to celebrate the Palace Hotel reopening after the 1906 earthquake – the hotel survived the quake itself only to be destroyed that night by fires raging through the city. The hotel owners decided to auction off the painting last year due to its $5 million-plus value and fear that it was too precious to hang in a public place, but immediate public outcry foiled that crazy plan and the painting was pulled from auction. The painting was returned in August of 2013 to its original and intended spot behind the Pied Piper bar after a thorough cleaning in New York.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.