“There are pros and cons to every alternate timeline,” Rick on Rick and Morty burps. “Fun facts about this one: It’s got giant, telepathic spiders, eleven 9/11s, and the best ice cream in the multiverse!”
There’s no such quandary at TableTop Tap House, now open near the Moscone Center in what used to be Jillian’s. There, you can avoid interdimensional aesthetic and moral dilemmas and instead restrict yourself to Nuptia 4 and the Citadel of Ricks by playing the Rick and Morty version of Clue. (The board is pretty different-looking if you’re used to being in the conservatory with the revolver.)
In any case, this new bar and game parlor hasn’t fully superseded its former incarnation, as the website redirects to jillianssf.com, but differences abound. For starters, the board games: Hand your ID to a server and you can take out Scrabble, Cards Against Humanity, Uno, Settlers of Catan, and about 50 more. TableTop is always adding to its collection — and in back, there are a number of pool tables plus TVs tuned to sports.
But this is a bar, and that means beer like Ballast Point Sculpin, Calicraft Kolsch, Drake’s Denogginizer, Firestone 805, and the like. The average $8.50-$10 price range is a little steep, not unlike you’re in the View Lounge at the top of the nearby Marriott Marquis, but cocktails are all $13. Beyond Boulevardiers and Martinezes, there’s a Paloma made with Partida Blanca and a Daiquiri fashioned out of Brugal 1888 rum with a Chartreuse float. Food options are roughly equivalent, an upscale bar-bite vibe full of cauliflower buffalo bites and Bloody Mary pizzas that occasionally veers into agreeable overkill (like “Fish N Chips Mega Sliders,” although there’s an Impossible Burger version, too).
Since it’s around the corner from a convention center and within walking distance from basically everything, expect lots of corporate parties and other larger-size events, tearing into Greek salad jars, chilaquiles rojos, and half-pound burgers. Expect lanyards — lots of lanyards. One notable menu addition is the $15 Negroni Sampler, a suite of four each made with a different base spirit: Tito’s Vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Buffalo Trace whiskey, and Xicaru Mezcal. (Incidentally, next week is Negroni Week, and Tabletop will donate the proceeds from its flight to Autism Speaks.)
As with nearby SPiN and Coin-Op Game Room, the marriage of craft cocktails and nostalgic games is catnip for the after-work set. Undoubtedly, it’s the toys that will make the deepest impression. Even if you’re a Hungry Hungry Hippo who, after a couple drinks, begins to lose the muscle coordination required to extricate the butterfly from the stomach in Operation, you can always have a good-natured shouting match with your besties over Guess Who.
TableTop Tap House, 175 Fourth St, 415-369-6100 or tabletopsf.com