Given the limited amount of space for most businesses in San Francisco, it's not surprising that our fair city has had some challenges in getting a legitimate arcade. But while we still don't have an arcade per se, the next best thing has arrived in the form of Golden Gate Tap Room, a massive Union Square bar that complements its 100-beer menu with numerous options for adult entertainment of the wholesome variety.
The bar is owned by Man J. Kim, who's also behind the Lori's Diner chain and Sears Fine Food. Designer Craige Walters (Fable, Hi Tops) made over the space, which was once the SF Press Club, and was most recently an extension of the Golden Gate Grill. Now, the 8,000-square-foot second floor plays home to two regulation shuffleboard tables, two foosball tables, three skeeball machines, a handful of pool tables, and a flotilla of arcade games both new and vintage, including video golf, video motorcycling, and video poker. 20 big-screen TVs show sporting events, while a full bar, draft wine, and those aforementioned beers keep players well-lubricated.
The beer list, given its size, is wide-ranging, with an emphasis on California and Pacific Northwest breweries. Every American macrobrew is on the list, but so are offerings from Dogfish Head, Lagunitas, Allagash, Bear Republic, North Coast, Sierra Nevada, Devil's Canyon, and Drake's. (It's mostly their standard brews, though—don't expect anything too unusual.) The bar plans to have monthly tastings featuring local craft brewers. There's also a pretty large selection of California wines by the glass; again, nothing innovative, but a solid list. On the food side, there's a menu of pub grub from executive chef Miles Neal, who's worked at the California Cafe, Piatti, and Sears Fine Food. Options are simple and cheap (nothing over $7), and include rib tips, pulled-pork tacos, fries, five types of wings, nachos, and a burger. Here's the full food and beer menu.
Golden Gate Tap Room is currently in its soft-opening phase, with a grand opening planned for August 1. It boasts expansive hours (noon to midnight daily), and with the huge space, private parties are definitely a major part of the offering. The only downside might be battling the Union Square tourists, who'll undoubtedly be equally drawn to a chance for beer and skeeball.
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