Comstock Saloon, which has been the subject of much chatter and eager hand-wringing amongst the cocktail community for months, is finally opening its doors on May 20th. Though bartender-proprietors Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin can’t be sure of the age and provenance of everything in the Barbary Coast space at the corner of Columbus and Pacific, they know the bar — a single, eighteen-foot piece of mahogany — dates to 1907 and and the pukka walla fan overhead dates to 1916.
No doubt, with some upcoming NY Times coverage and a lot of pent-up anticipation for both the space and the drinks, Comstock is going to be a hotbed of activity in early summer where cocktail geeks and North Beach frat boys will collide — a decidedly un-Bourbon-&-Branch-like environment. “I can’t wait,” Hollinger told us. “This place pre-dates Prohibition, and we really wanted to restore it to that era, chaos and all.”
The restoration comes complete with what may be the only intact tile trough around the perimeter of the bar in the country, where once upon a time the all-male clientele of a bar would relieve themselves in between sips of whiskey. It even has its own drain.
It’s a beauty, and we look forward to trying some of the boys’ cocktails along with Carlo Espinas’ food when they open two weeks from today. For now, check out our slideshow of the space.