Best Way to Get Dizzy Downtown (Alcoholic Category) - 2002
The 711 Club
Far from the fern-and-redwood aura of the Financial District's hotel bars, the 711 Club is one of the few watering holes on downtown Market Street with genuine character. Darkly lit and seemingly dreary at first, the décor quickly reveals plenty of small pleasures. The walls feature large images of nude women in bas-relief; there's an old (or rather, vintage) tabletop Pac-Man game and, most touchingly, a pathetic little painting of a clown with a butterfly sitting on his nose, which usually gets ignored as patrons make their way to the restroom. Back in the olden days of the dot-com boom, the 711's kitsch attracted a lot of folks in fashion eyewear, but things have calmed down since -- SOMA dot-commers' loud barking about stock options has been replaced by barflies' loud barking at Jeopardy! on the TV -- which makes it an entertainingly intimate (if still kitschy) place to down a few steins of cheap beer. Proximity to the Montgomery and Powell BART stations makes stumbling home a breeze.