Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Bix: Evocative Prohibition-Era Cocktails 

Wednesday, Dec 26 2012

Veering off Montgomery onto Gold Street, a little, nondescript alley, feels like slipping into a hidden passageway. Walking along, you understand the thrill of being in on a secret, which we imagine was half the fun of Prohibition-era speakeasies. The tidy little street doesn't stand out for any particular reason, except for the neon sign that marks the entrance to Bix. It may not be a secret, but the dramatic shift from modern alleyway to 1930s jazz joint sure feels like one.

Bix drips with elegance, the two-story dining room, plush and dark; with lively music energizing the room with so much vigor you half expect the chairs to start doing a jig. The dramatically backlit bar draws you in to pull up a stool at the long and polished mahogany slab, which is crowned with a big metal punch bowl filled with crushed ice that serves to chill the glassware.

There are a few drinks of their own invention on the list, but menu focuses on classics like the Sidecar ($13, Germain-Robin brandy, Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao, lemon, sugar rim) and the Sazerac ($11, Templeton Rye, Herbsaint, Peychaud's bitters, Angostura bitters), drinks that feel the most appropriate in the space.

The feel of the place is Prohibition-era, and it makes sense to enjoy the Sazerac made with a spirit with a bootlegging history, Templeton rye. The "brand name" came from the city, Templeton (Carroll County, Iowa), known for the whiskey produced by local farmers and widely distributed and enjoyed at Chicago's finest speakeasies. The current iteration claims to use the same recipe used during Prohibition, making it the experience even more era-correct.

While some bars offer escape from the everyday with a comfortable place to sit and a good drink, Bix's escape includes both space and time. The entrance to the last century only requires a quick turn onto Gold Street.

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • 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.'"