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Inside San Francisco Athletic Club, A Lower Pac Heights Sports Bar For World Cup Fever

[Photos: Patricia Chang]

The name San Francisco Athletic Club may call to mind squash courts and saunas, but it's actually a sports bar that armchair athletes will swoon for. It's the second project from the team behind The Corner Store, Ezra Berman and Miles Palliser, who've joined up with Neil Holbrook (Kezar Pub) to take over the former Tortilla Heights space in Lower Pac Heights. The opening was a race to the finish line, and the trio have made good on their promise to open in time for the World Cup; they swung open their doors today in time for the first match, and will be showing the 63 subsequent ones on their 28 televisions, which include two 80-inch screens.

Corner Store sous chefs Matt Rosson and Sam Kazik are behind the menu, which is of course focused on bar bites for your cheering squad. Expect burgers, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, four kinds of fries, and four flavors of wings (including Sriracha chili wings). They have 12 draft beers, 8 draft wines, and 15 beers by the bottle for your delectation, and large groups seated in the four reservable booths (8-12 people per booth) can even order up a porcelain bathtub of beers that fits an entire case's worth. (Less ambitious drinkers can stick with the traditional buckets.) The full bar focuses on whiskey and tequila, but also has a little bit of everything else.

The sports theme extends to the decor (from Sabrosa's designer Clint Miller), including a bar top made from an old basketball court, bleachers that can be rolled out for big games, and a trophy case. There's a pool table and shuffleboard for commercial breaks and/or blowout losses. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11am-10pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 9am-10pm. Bar hours and select bar bites run until late. They'll also stay open early or late, depending on big games, and serve breakfast on the weekends.

· Corner Store Team Opening Sports Bar in Lower Pac Heights [~ ESF ~]
· The Definitive 2014 World Cup Guide: Where to Watch [~ ESF ~]

San Francisco Athletic Club

1750 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94115