For almost a decade now, John Colins (138 Minna Street) has stood apart as one of the hippest bars in San Francisco’s traditionally white-collar Financial District. Boasting an inventive, ever-evolving drink menu, rowdy crowds and gut-thumping live music, it certainly brings action to a neighborhood that hasn’t always been known for its nightlife. But when SF bartenders John O’ Guiffre and Colin O’Malley teamed up in 2005, they brought years of indelible expertise into their joint venture and the hordes of loyal patrons that line up nightly along the sidewalks of the nondescript Minna alleyway are a testament to the bar’s continued success.
Yet for a true sampling of what this unique watering hole has to offer, there is perhaps no better day of the week to amble on over than Thursday Nights—an evening dedicated to an all out art free-for-all: live bands, DJs, painters, jewelers, Tarot-readers, and designers are all on hand hammering out an unforgettable flow of creativity.
But of course nothing get’s the juices flowing like some lively libations and John Colins is certainly in no short supply. Sure, you could order beer on draft or even a shot or two. However, it’s the creative cocktails that will keep you coming back for more. From their spectacularly spicy Beso De La Muerte–mixed around a Habanero-infused tequila, to a signature JC Mai Tai served with a Kraken Rum Floater, you’re not just going to get a great-tasting drink, you’re gonna get tipsy…fast.
Soon thereafter you’re going to feel compelled to move your feet to the funky-ass rhythms emanating from the small stage at the end of the bar. This is a perfectly normal reaction and you shouldn’t resist the urge. With invigorating concoctions like the Cotton Candy -flavored Snow Job, or the fresh-basil, all-ginned gimlet, Thursday nights in the financial district has got a bit more swing than you may have realized.