Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Driftwood Floats onto Folsom

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM

click to enlarge Driftwood's nautical walls. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • Driftwood's nautical walls.

Now that the gays are all getting registered at CB2, the unsettling closure of so many gay bars the last couple years felt like it was about to become outright apocalyptic. But then spaces like Brass Tacks and Virgil's Sea Room started opening up, and the anxiety abated some.

Well, Folsom Street Kok Bar (formerly Chaps II, and My Place before that) shuttered some months back, and its replacement Driftwood isn't a proper gay bar either. It is, in the words of co-owner Chris Milstead, "straight-friendly."

See also: Virgil's Sea Room Washes Ashore in the Mission

Not to be confused with the nearby gallery Driftwood Salon four blocks away, this straightforward cocktail joint transformed what was once a dark den of iniquity with chains and corrugated metal -- and not that there isn't a place for that aesthetic! -- into more of a, well, den. Burnt orange upholstery, a wooden seal sculpture curved around a ball, cheesy nautical paintings, a starfish tacked on the wall and a bar made of bronze -- there's rather some deliciously tacky queerbait in there. (There's also a record player to which you can bring your own LPs.)

click to enlarge The Hemisphere and Boson's Knot at Driftwood - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • The Hemisphere and Boson's Knot at Driftwood

Beyond draft beer, Driftwood's got a pleasantly pared-down list of seven $9 cocktails, many of them tweaked classics. An acquaintance noted that the Bosun's Knot (rye, green Chartreuse, sweet vermouth and bitters) and the Hemisphere (dark rum, muddled coffee beans, sugar and bitters) make a fine "first and last cocktail, respectively." For the middle, you won't err with a Black Scotsman (blended Scotch, blackberry, lemon, sugar and egg white).

The crowd, mixed and relaxed, clearly approves of this straight-friendly bar. The concept might overreach slightly when buttoned-down folk see what found fixture Driftwood retained in its front restroom, though. We're not telling -- do see for yourself.

Driftwood, 1219 Folsom St. (at 8th St.).

Follow @wannacyber


  • Pin It

About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Bio:
Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40

Suggested Reading

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"