Swig, the second bar in the now significant Future Bars empire (Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, Wilson & Wilson, Tradition, Local Edition, with the shuttered Anu being the first) was the last not to have a Bourbon & Branch-style cocktail menu, not to mention the ten-year-old space was in need of some remodeling. Partners Brian Sheehy, Doug Dalton, and Justin Lew decided to fix that this spring, and during off hours and a few closed weekdays, they've revamped the place with a fresh look, a new menu, and a seriously major whiskey collection.
As Dalton tells Eater, "Swig was our second bar in San Francisco [after Anu], dating back to 2003, and we've really grown as a company and we wanted Swig to reflect that growth."
He says that the goal was to have the space aspire to aesthetic quality that their brand has become known for at their other locations. They accomplished this by breaking up the tables, making more lounge space in back and breathing room up front, and redoing all the walls and fixtures. "We've noticed over the years how people flow through the space, and so we wanted the new design to reflect that," Dalton says. He, Lew, and Sheehy all collaborated on the design, and they employed a metal artist to copy the pattern from the wallpaper to the light fixtures, the doors, shelves, and the upstairs wall hangings.
Additionally they redesigned the bar to make it more functional, and they now boast the broadest and deepest whiskey selection, they think, of anywhere else in town. "We have a pretty diverse selection at Tradition, with the best of the best from every type and brand, but here we wanted a more fluid offering," Dalton says. So, at Swig, they've covered every type and brand, but they're also offering the different iterations within the brand for comparison, like blends, single-barrel, and cask-strength whiskeys.
Swig is open weekdays at 5 p.m., Saturdays at 6 p.m., and Sundays at 7 p.m. The upstairs "loft" and downstairs spaces are available for private events, and you should inquire about that here.