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There are more obvious bars to hit in the TL, and most of them don't have holes in the ceiling like this one does, but you won't find a warmer place to drink in the neighborhood. Friendly bar staff, an open fire and the kind of wallpaper that was chic in the '70s, super-lame in the '80s, ignored in the '90s, and now fashionable again. Like everything else in The Brown Jug, it's not there because the owners are trying to make the bar look good -- it's just there.
5. 540 Club
The affable door-guy here recently explained to us that the 540 is important because it's "like bars in the Mission were 10 years ago. People are friendly in here. They talk to each other. They're not just here to pose." And he's absolutely right. Add to that the glory of dollar drink Mondays and the bring-your-drink-out-with-you smoking patio out front and the Inner Richmond has a prime drinking spot the Mission and TL should be jealous of.
4. Aunt Charlie's
The drinks are cheap and as strong as the drag queens that perform in this teeny, tiny, seedy but sparkly Tenderloin tavern. Spend an evening in this ratty little dive and you'll probably end up with (a) a giant hangover, (b) a condensed history of everything gay that's ever happened in San Francisco, (c) a look at the oldest drag queens on earth, and, (d) an annoying, three-day-long game of God-What-Was-That-Smell? Don't forget this place is on Turk and Taylor too, so you'll be greeted by a pile of crackheads on your way out. Good times.