“Summer” Place Cocktail Lounge

25 Jun
The setting: A typically blustery June evening in San Francisco, mist cutting through cold air in slanted grey gusts blown across soft pastel rooftops from the ocean nestled safely from view not five miles beyond.

The coldest winter Mark Twain ever spent did not involve the Summer Place.

The scene: A faux-stone facade tucks away one of the city’s rare indoor havens for the social smoker, invited to share a fag or two (or ten) in likeminded company lounging in rolling black leather captains chairs at the foot of a gently crackling fireplace.  Punk and standby rock classics stream from a jukebox with its own agenda – love a good piece of thinking machinery.

The players: Yours truly and the Unsinkable Miss M., fresh from Pride Kick-off at the Sir Francis Drake and a thrilling run-in with Mr. Harry Denton himself, whom we caught surveying a grey San Francisco skyline from a boat of a red booth in his namesake Starlight Room at the hotel’s peak.

At the bar we meet Sasha Fierce, my favorite Massachusetts Ex-Patriot. <Sidebar (for those of us who don’t know how to actually create one): Sasha claims to be not of Russian descent, but rather named after a character in Dr. Zhivago. Someday I will meet this mother of his, also said to have threatened her small son with beatings if he returned from school with a Bahwstan accent. A personal hero for obvious reasons.> <Sidebar 2: Sasha is soon to be introduced in his own words via a guest column I managed to coax him into as the evening progressed – Gardening for Dummies – get excited, fellow dummies. This will be just one of many guest columns I hope to coerce all of my nearest and dearest into – so far I’ve signed on Aarti for the hotter than hell “Spicy in the City.” Holler if you’ve got an idea before I come a-knockin. And yes, if you’re reading this, you best believe I’m talking to you.>

The Fringe: Unexpectedly, the place was a total couplewatch, with one canoodling at the bar hot and heavily for two plus hours, others enjoying whiskey and cigarette rounds in passing. My favorite?  A skinny boy in skinnier jeans with a shaved head and two tiny hoop earrings alongside an Asian girl with bleach blond hair, Elvis Costello glasses and a trench coat. The Bro Love Connection selecting “Come on Eileen” for background was another gem.

The Action: Four rounds of modified gin rummy (in typically Unsinkable fashion, my roommate solidly swept the game), a collective five Camel Lights, two Bud Lights, three Miller High Lifes (mini-review: sticky crappy beer) and no advertised Wilderberry Schnapps $3 Specials later, we make our way back into the wind and rain feeling a little toastier, and a whole lot closer to home.

M + S. Clearly, crappy blackberry photos are not going to cut it much longer.

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One Response to ““Summer” Place Cocktail Lounge”

  1. Sashavich June 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    You forgot to mention cleanest friggin’ co-ed dive bar (or any bar for that matter) restroom EVER. With an orchid. It didn’t even smell remotely like the Tenderloin on a hot day with no breeze.

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