For each day of Classics Week, Eater SF's head photographer, Patricia Chang, visited a different iconic San Francisco restaurant or bar for an Eater Scenes photo essay capturing it at a defining moment in the week. In today's edition, we head to the Tonga Room, the iconic tiki bar and restaurant in the basement of Nob Hill's Fairmont Hotel. Known for its strong drinks, thatched-roof tables, and central pool area (complete with a live band on a barge), the Tonga has been blowing minds since 1945, particularly when the indoor rain show, held every half-hour, kicks in (complete with faux-thunder and lightning). After flirting with possible closure back in 2009, the Tonga has also benefited from reinvestment by the Fairmont, which has updated the drink menu, refreshed the decor, and revamped the food offering. Let's hope this classic survives for decades to come.
The Tonga Room, Thursday, 10 p.m.
A photo tour of the Nob Hill tiki icon.