In a choice spot at the corner of 17th and Castro Streets where the two meet Market Street in the neighborhood's major intersection, the Twin Peaks Tavern is hard for residents or visitors to the Castro district to miss. Many do, however, preferring the livelier bars and clubs that cater to a younger clientele. Primarily frequented by older gentlemen and long-time residents, the Twin Peaks Tavern is often snubbed by the younger set, who've derided it with nicknames like, "Tomb With A View" and "The Glass Coffin," both references to the elegant picture windows that occupy both street-facing walls of the ground floor.
The clueless naysayers' loss is the customers' gain, preserving the casual, inviting atmosphere within. Usually busy but rarely overcrowded, the tavern has tables and comfortable pillow-laden benches along the windows, perfect for people-watching, and quieter, more intimate seating on the mezzanine overlooking the bar. If perhaps not offering quite as impressive a view as the local landmark with which it shares its name, the Twin Peaks Tavern has an enviable lookout onto one of San Francisco's most vital neighborhoods and provides the additional incentive of a highly-regarded Irish coffee, making it a more attractive locale for sightseeing on cold and foggy days. Newcomers and outsiders are perfectly welcome, the bar staff is friendly and professional and the regulars mostly take no notice of the occasional interloper.
First opened in 1935 in a 19th century building, the bar was designated a historic landmark by the city of San Francisco in 2013. Ornate period details decorate both the interior and exterior. It's quite easy to find and get to, sitting directly across the street from the Castro MUNI station and serviced by the 24 bus line and the F streetcar. With a public transportation hub on its doorstep, surrounded by shops and restaurants, and located just half a block from the magnificent Castro Theatre, the Twin Peaks Tavern is a perfect place to spend a relaxing happy hour or for a nite-cap after a show or a movie or as part of a night on the town. For more information call 415 -864-9470.
J. Eric Miller makes his home in the byways and forgotten corners of San Francisco, cultivating and curating the offbeat, the enlivening, or the just plain weird. Read of his misadventures at theupsanddownsofsanfrancisco.tumblr.com