Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Royal Tug Jerks Our Chain

Posted By on Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:00 AM

The Admiral and the Panama Negroni at the Royal Tug - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • The Admiral and the Panama Negroni at the Royal Tug

Empire-builders Duncan Ley, Benjamin Bleiman and Mark DeVito have a lot of cool neighborhood bars in San Francisco. A lot. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem shines the brightest, but there's also Soda Popinski's, Bullitt, Tonic, Wild Hare, bar-slash-venue Rebel, etc. And this time, they're phoning it in.

See also: Tonga Room Revamp Alters Practically Nothing. "Whew!" Cry Hordes of Kitsch Fans

Having stuck a wet thumb aloft to determine that the winds are indeed blowing seaward, the team has delivered a nautical-themed pseudo-dive called the Royal Tug Yacht Club to Nob Hill. Impishly named, it almost sounds like they're trolling the area's tonier residents, but it's actually a shiny lure for Marina folk to swim upstream and over the hill.

Thirteen cocktails (plus beer and Fernet on tap) comprise the menu, and a few stand out, such as the mojito-like Admiral (bourbon, amber rum, Angostura bitters, mint, a sugar cube and fresh lime) and the seriously intense Panama Negroni, made with tequila reposado, Campari and Punt de Mes. Let that one sit a minute first to let the ice melt.

Behold, the kraken at Royal Tug - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • Behold, the kraken at Royal Tug

Overall, the Royal Tug feels slapped together. Throw some crazy crap on the walls, source the three cheapest faux-wood tables you can find, install a frightening octopoid recycled from the Playa onto the ceiling, put in a Big Buck Hunter and BAM! It's pure Thrillist-bait -- and seemingly the evolutionary destination of all of San Francisco's weirdest dives and assorted holes-in-the-wall. However, in New York, the 36-year-old Rawhide bar just closed and is becoming a chain pizza joint, so Nob Hill could do way, way worse.

The Royal Tug Yacht Club, 895 Bush St.

Follow @wannacyber

  • Pin It

About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

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


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • 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.'"