San Francisco-South Market
May 11, 2018
Less a case of Mr Smith goes to San Francisco, rather San Francisco goes to Mr Smith’s, as this swanky little SoMa venue attracts everyone from the local club kids to the city’s well-heeled professional crowd, with a smattering of celebrity sightings to keep the interest up, with reported spots including Taye Diggs, Will.i.am and Carson Daly. It can be tricky to find the entrance is slightly hidden and the exterior looks a little on the gritty side but once inside, the bar is studiously cool. The venue is spread over three storeys, adding up to a seductive and enticing space. The main room is decked out with ornate mirrors, vintage style flock wallpaper and Victorian-style furnishings think red upholstered couches and cream chaise longues, perfect to recline on and the large central bar is canopied by funky lights. Though the bar staff can feel rather overstretched on busy nights, they’re generally efficient and friendly (and refreshingly, for such a cool venue, attitude free). The drinks are well-made and reasonably priced, and the bar staff are usually happy to make you something off menu if you don’t see anything you like. There’s a glam VIP room in the loft for the lucky few (complete with its own bar, so no need to mix with the less lucky many), and a small-ish dance floor downstairs should you feel the urge to grind and groove the night away. Bottle service is available too. The venue has a whisky club that holds monthly meetings for enthusiasts, and every other month Mr Smith’s hosts a wine tasting night.