hogfodder (34) Washington | January 27, 2007| Updated February 19, 2008
Although I live elsewhere (Pacific NW), I have been here many times over the years. Now whenever I go to SF, I ask myself why should I? Is it worth it? The main reason I am writing this review is in hopes that someone (Dave) realizes how much his staff can negatively impact the experience. The bad service is so omnipresent it is almost unimaginable. Everyone has bad nights behind the bar, but Iíve been there over 20 times in 10 years and canít remember more than 2 good night (of bartenders). Iím not buying the whole they want it to be that way thing. If I owned that bar, and saw the number of people walk out on a Sat nite when it wasnít busy (12/16/06)without being served (which is why they left), Iíd make changes. It is really sad because there is so much about the Tornado that could be (used to be?) great. Now it just makes me realize how few choices there are for great beer bars in SF. No kidding. Name embut back it up. Theyíre not there. I canít believe such a baddass city A) doesnít have more great beer bars already, and B) hasnít had somewone figure this out and open the Tornado w/o Attitude. It is really getting to be a shame. The good news is, if they fix that ONE THING, I would probably put this in the top 5 beer bars in the country.
The bartender was very helpful, giving us plenty of samplers. The beers are great, and not just "standard" local ones, with a good selection of sours. This is also the best bang for your buck for good beer in SF.
A great place overall. The bar itself sits comfortably in the ídiveí category in terms of its decor and ambiance. The beer range, though, is top of the line, with an excellent selection on keg and in bottle. Lots of local stuff. And pretty good prices. The service on my visit was curt but efficient. The cash-only policy is a little annoying, but itís their call.
Overall, this is a stellar bar and definitely worth visiting if you are in SF.
Divey, grungy spot. Cash only. I was concerned that Iíd be subjected to this placeís notoriously surly service, but I ended up finding the staff to be really pleasant (despite their grizzled appearances). Just know what you want to order before you get to the counter. The extensive tap list featured mostly quality locals (including plenty from Russian River). I was also able to score a Cable Car for onsite consumption for the expensive, yet still reasonable, price of $80. Overall, I enjoyed my visit. A place absolutely worth checking out.
Bucket list place tick for sure. Visited twice during my trip to SF in January. Itís a very grungy, dirty old school beer bar with staff thatís rude on purpose. The selection is good, I think most modern beer bars have a better idea of selection for beer nerds, but there is no shortage of good beer at this place. Prices are also quite decent, especially for San Fran. I think their real strength is the events. A Russian River tap takeover is worth getting to!
I finally made it!!!! So thrilled to finally make it to one of my meccaís. Was here on a friday, early evening with some thebaldwizard and puddintane. Had a beachwood tap takeover and some other awesome stuff on tap. Cable Car was available in bottles. Wish I would have gotten one. Service was a tad surly, but I had a lot of respect for that. Being a service industry worker myself, I get sick of the bend over backwards attitude that is expected by many consumers. Fuck yeah, do it your way. I would be here all the time if I lived in San Fran.
I find the dive bar feel quite charming. Cool, unpretentious and relaxed. Service was actually quite OK and quick at our visit. Absolutely awesome selection at our visit with 20 or so Russian River -tion beers on draught as well as a few others and plenty of other breweries. Cable Car was available in bottles. Prices were more than fair. Iíd probably hang around here if I was local. Shitters looked gross at first sight, but the facilities themselves were surprisingly clean.
A dive with some sticky surfaces, which is expected if you know of the place. Service was surprisingly good. Selection was fantastic, although bottle list at other locations is much better. Half pours and no flights. Prices were decent for what they were offering. A good spot where there is no pretense.
Stopped by just to see what the fuss was about.
Ambiance is a bit too noisy and dark but hey, itís a bar.
God knows how many taps and bottles on sale but at least 20 and 50 respectively.
Staff are your typical bar keeps. Friendly enough but really have to clamp down when it gets busy.
About $5-6 for a pour and $1 off for happy hour so itís pretty good for the stuff theyíre serving.
In the door as they openend on a slightly rainy Wednesday, our last full day in SF. Definitely has a the feel of a dive bar with a great beer selection. Taplist is impressive, and the prices even more so. With about 50 taps more than 90% were priced at $5-6, a single $4 (Anchor Steam), a couple $7, an $8, and a sole $13. It was apparently happy hour so our beers were $1 off. For the quality of the stuff theyíre serving there are bars that would charge $2 more per pour. Iím impressed at their dedication to keeping good craft beer available to everyone. Nice eclectic mix of hard rock, metal, older alternative stuff. Contrasting this with sayÖ Mikkeller, the list is maybe a notch below it in ďrarityĒ, but a whole lot better in value. Not sure about flights here or anything else, but I didnít see that as an option at Mikkeller either. And at least here if you get a beer youíre not in love with, it didnít cost you a ton to find out. Iíd come here again next time Iím out, well worth the stop.
Only thing I could really knock is the cash only aspect, and as long as you know ahead of time, itís not a huge deal. Plus theyíve got an ATM on site.