The heyday of authentic jukeboxes is long over. With many bars installing those nasty touchscreen digital Internet boxes, the old school record-flipping kind of jukebox is a dying breed. And this is in the town that originated the concept of jukeboxes back in 1889. So what denotes a quality juke these days? It's subjective, but there are some key signifiers: diversity of the records and mood-setting capabilities. In this column we seek out and celebrate the remaining machines. We also measure their success with a one to five drinks scale, based on how long you'll want to linger and listen.
With rainbow flags flying high, the Castro is a go-to destination for tourists and locals. It's old movie houses and wine bars, Hot Cookie and Lady Gaga, street fairs and protests. The bars in this neighborhood are packed to the brim every night of the week. But while there are a few noteworthy classic jukeboxes within them, sadly, most bars have opted for the digital breed.
The bar's excellent vodka gimlet pairs nicely with those albums sounds, too. A little bit of vintage elegance, smooth dark wood surfaces, cocktails in an actual martini glass, and music spanning decades, genres. I could've basked in the glow of strong female voices all night — if it wasn't for those pesky techno remixes patrons kept choosing.
Juke rating: 4 drinks