Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, December 6, 2013

Archive Bar & Kitchen, a Cozy Den of Inebriation Newly Open Downtown

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM

  • Pete Kane

With all the Irish bars and general nothingness dotting the nether-region where South of Market transitions into the Financial District, it's nice to see the corner of Mission and Second Streets get a respectable after-work watering hole. Archive Bar & Kitchen, a gastropub and wine bar, may have a masculine atmosphere, but it's no bros-only club.

See Also: Southside Spirit House Means Howard Street Finally Has Something Cool

Wine only comes by the glass, so you know this is meant to be a lunch-and-happy-hour destination (and it is in fact closed on weekends). The list of House Libations may be printed in tiny type on the menu, but Archive pulled off a rather ingenious trick with them. While waiting for a full liquor license, all seven cocktails consist exclusively of vermouths, liqueurs, beer, and wine. Made with Maurin Quina liqueur, the Alternative Medicine is the closest approximation to a Manhattan that can be made without bourbon, step one of which is "Ancient Greatness," i.e. torching cubes of bourbon-barrel to smoke the glass.

To make the Alternative Medicine, cubes of wood from a bourbon barrel are torched so that they smoke the glass. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • To make the Alternative Medicine, cubes of wood from a bourbon barrel are torched so that they smoke the glass.

  • Pete Kane

  • Pete Kane

The kitchen half of "Bar & Kitchen" is slim pickings just yet, with only a few $10 boards (cheese and charcuterie) alongside a few $12 thin-crust pizzas, although the Get Squashed (Gospel Flat butternut squash, piquillo peppers, goat cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, arugula, mozzarella and orgnic tomato sauce) sounds decadent enough to test the tensile strength of the crust. Once they conquer the defunct bagel store adjacent, things will really get moving.

Warm, dark and classic, Archive's turn-of-the-last-century interior feels like 826 Valencia if you swapped out the pirate tchotchkes for tufted leather. The music felt a bit incongruent, though. A watered-down, retail-techno beat thumped on for over fifteen minutes, more ultra-lounge than gentleman's club or wine bar. But even at half the projected size and scale, Archive is a great place to round up your co-workers and talk smack about your boss over a glass of wine.

Archive Bar & Kitchen, 602 Mission St., (415) 987-5770.

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.'"