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WHY HERE: Located on the site of a bar opened in the mid-1800s, Elixir is the brainchild of proprietor H. Joseph Ehrmann, a noted veteran of the bartending industry. The bar’s past alone makes it worth a visit; in previous lives, it has been a Wild West saloon, an Irish pub and a popular hot spot for the queer Latino community. Come for the history, stay for cocktails.

WHY NOW: With so many long-standing bars throwing in the towel to decreasing business and rising rents, it’s ever more imperative to preserve those final few holdouts, even if it means refurbishing a few things. Here, Ehrmann makes necessary changes, primarily on the drinks front, but preserves the atmospheric nostalgia.

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3200 16th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103