The Royal Tug Yacht Club, a nautically-themed corner bar that features a giant kraken installed in the ceiling, is now open. It's the newest project from prolific bar folks Duncan Ley, Benjamin Bleiman, and Mark DeVito, who are also behind Bullitt, Tonic, Lightning Tavern, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, Soda Popinski's and Wild Hare.
The Royal Tug replaces Yong San Lounge, a Korean dive bar that was notorious as a place to get a different kind of royal tug. (Along with some free meatballs.) It's been redesigned to be a more approachable neighborhood spot than Yong San, and the city's making sure of it: DeVito told us their liquor license expressly stipulates that "hostesses may not loiter for free drinks." The team redid the bar, installed maritime touches, and removed the drop ceiling to unleash the bar's centerpiece: the 20-foot sea monster that, legend has it, has been hiding there all along. (Bonus: His eyes light up.)
As with all the team's bars, there's Fernet and Jameson on tap, plus Guinness, Scrimshaw pilsner, and a rotating selection of bottled beers. The new cocktail list, designed by bar manager Mack Holman, is designed to evoke the charms of different port cities. It has 13 drinks, ranging from The Admiral (bourbon, amber rum, angostura bitters, mint, sugar cube, fresh lime) to the Flight Bird (silver tequila, yellow Chartreuse, Grand Marnier, lemon) to the Panama Negroni (reposado tequila, Campari, punt e mes). All cocktails are $10.
The team hopes the new space will be a welcome change for the neighborhood. They'll rent it out for private parties, and may institute a football-season membership where drinkers can rent out their favorite barstool. The Royal Tug is now open from 6pm to 2am every day, and will open at 10am on weekends once the 49ers season begins.