Surrounded by water on three sides, San Francisco, with it's ports and piers and wharfs and marinas, has always known a love of all things nautical, evoked the romance of sailing on the Bay, and spoken to the call of the sea. For the dedicated landlubber, however, there's a way to enjoy all that while keeping both feet firmly on dry land. The Old Ship Saloon sits at 298 Pacific Ave between Battery and Front streets in San Francisco's Jackson Square neighborhood on the site to which the whaling ship Arkansas was towed after it had been blown aground on Alcatraz Island in December 1849. A hole was then cut into its hull and it was established in 1851 as the Old Ship Alehouse, where a sign hung at the entrance proclaimed that "Good, Bad, and Indifferent Spirits Sold Here." It's now a designated historical site.
The above ground part of the ship was dismantled in 1859 and the building that subsequently replaced it has been put to a variety of uses, including a hotel and a rooming house, until its current owner Bill Duffy took over in 1992. The subsequent remodeling resulted in a traditionally rustic looking pub with lots of memorabilia and decor related to its origins included a piece of the ship itself, installed in the rear of the bar.
The saloon operates only on weekdays, Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 1 AM, the lack of foot traffic and general activity in the neighborhood outside of office hours discouraging weekend business. Situated on the edge of the Financial District, it serves lots of office workers with sports TV on four large screens and typical pub food—burgers and fries, sandwiches with side salads, hot dogs, nachos, chicken wings and the like. As for the drinks selection, you won't find any house specialty cocktails or nouveau drink menus. It's more of a beer and wine type of place, offering local brews on tap and over a dozen different bottled beers.
"We're pretty old school here," says Colin, who's on staff. "Customers can start with the brown stuff and then switch to gin and vodka." Set sail anytime between mid-morning breakfast and last call. For more information, you can dial 415-788-2222 during business hours.
Explorer J. Eric Miller crash-landed on the alien world of San Francisco in the last millennium. Trapped in a world he never imagined, he seeks escape in his experience of living. Read more about it at: theupsanddownsofsanfrancisco.tumblr.com