501 Jones Street, San Francisco
Open: Daily 6 pm-2 am
While it might be more common these days to drink cocktails in clandestine, speakeasy-style bars, it is unlikely that you’ve ever come across somewhere quite like Bourbon and Branch. This remarkable little bar, hidden in a nondescript building in an insalubrious part of town, has an incredible history. It’s one of San Francisco’s oldest bars, and from 1921 to 1933 was a genuine illegal speakeasy operating under Prohibition!
The authentic speakeasy atmosphere has been retained beautifully (although they no longer have to source their hooch from Canadian bootleggers!), and the house rules still apply. Guests who know the password can enter the unmarked door, and sneak through another door hidden behind a bookshelf in the main lounge, finally arriving in The Library.
The atmosphere is superb, and the spirit of the Roaring Twenties is very much alive here. Cocktails on the Bourbon and Branch menu are stunningly crafted, with an extraordinary range of rare, small-batch liquors, perfectly complemented by handmade juices and purees.
Once you’ve satisfied your thirst you can head out of the Bourbon and Branch Speakeasy through one of the five secret underground tunnels which still functions today. This will allow a perfectly discreet exit, and insuring you steer clear of any pesky Prohibition agents who may still be lurking...