I recently got to photograph 83 Proof co-owner/manager Marc Goldfine and bartender Veronica Nye in San Francisco for Tasting Panel Magazine‘s recent article on Masterson’s whiskey. This is a bar that takes its cocktails very seriously. The bartenders are alchemist savants, thumbing through their comprehensive knowledge of spirits and herbs, veggies, and fruits to design your perfect drink. You tell them what flavors you like and they’ll build a cocktail to match. Throwing some muscle into it, they’ll work the pestle to mash up fresh ingredients such as strawberries for a jalapeño vodka mix. Each bartender has his or her specialty: some favor rum, some whiskey or scotch, but all are friendly, unpretentious, and incredibly attentive. They love what they do, spending time to explain the flavors as well as the bar’s history. The building has a bit of S.F. folklore and notoriety tied to it: it was a Chinese triad bar that got closed down for over 10 years following a violent shootout, and prior to that it was a longshoreman’s bar. The original 1936 flooring remains.
83 First Street (between Market and Mission)
San Francisco, CA
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