The tiny bar in the back of Ice Cream Bar, the Cole Valley spot that is attempting to revive the lost art of the soda fountain, is unlike most anything I've seen before. The assortment of tiny bottles, each containing a tincture or extract, lined up next to Boston shaker tins suggest a bar, while the soda jerks in crisp white shirts and paper hats conjure up the pop nostalgia of 1950s ice cream shops.
The result is something unique, and although they don't serve cocktails or alcohol, the techniques employed to create the sodas, floats, phosphates, and lactarts come straight from the bar. With a menu designed by Rickhouse bartender Russell Davis and staffed by soda jerks who also work in bars, the approach is refined with recipes sourced from or made in the style of the 19th century.
Initially attracted to the name, the New Orleans Hangover ($8, chicory coffee syrup, soda water, golden eagle tincture--with saffron and St. John's Wort, house-made sweet cream ice cream), goes down like a lush version of the chicory coffee based cafés au lait served in the Big Easy. It may not save you from the pain of a night of overindulgence, but it'll unquestionably be the best hangover you ever had.
The Ice Cream Bar & Soda Fountain, 815 Cole (at Frederick), 742-4932.