Best Place to Spend a Night in the Castro Without Feeling Like You're Spending a Night in the Castro - 2003
The Red Grill & Whiskey Lounge
The Red Grill & Whiskey Lounge is a great bar, period. With no dance floor, no shrill speaker system, and no cologne-saturated twentysomethings, it's something of phenomenon in the Castro: a comfortable watering hole with a diverse clientele. What it does have is a beautiful wooden bar; a nerve-taming fireplace; and a towering view above 18th Street, so we can look down on the action below without being in the thick of it. It's the perfect place to relax and look pretty, to bring a date to woo or to drag a lover to dump. Although a few have griped that it's too posh -- which, in the Castro, is next to impossible -- the Whiskey Lounge is the ideal place to escape the frenzy, the alternately aggressively youthful and seedy dominance of the neighborhood. But mind the almost 90-degree staircase leading up to the bar: One too many Grey Goose martinis, and you could wind up face down on 18th Street instead of high above it.