Best Theme Bar - 2002
The Owl Tree
The past few years have seen a proliferation of sceney theme bars, from the chilly ski lodge décor of Sno-drift to the aquatic blues of Backflip. Such halfhearted attempts at Disney-fying the drinking experience are shamed by the truly obsessive theme of the Owl Tree, an old-school dive bar at the edge of the Tenderloin. More than a clever marketing gimmick, the Owl Tree's motif is the manifestation of a deep passion -- a passion for owls. Barn owls, snowy owls, big-eyed Keane kid owls ... the walls are plastered with them. Owls, as it turns out, make great drinking buddies: Their stately presence offers solace to solo drinkers, while their sheer absurdity sparks endless conversation for groups. The drinks are cheap and strong, and while Bobby the bartender may not always get your order right, he'll always help you drink the mistakes.