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Bourbon & Branch - 31 Reviews - 501 Jones Street, San Francisco, CA - Cocktail Bar Reviews - Phone (415) 346-1735

Bourbon & Branch

501 Jones Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 346-1735
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Cocktail Bar

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Cool 1920's throwback. Great place to take a date or the wife. Pros: No iphones allowed Cons: No wine selection


I have been dinning out and drinling all over San Francisco at least 6 nights a week for the past 18 years, I even know what are the best places to go at whatever time and day of ...

Editorial review from Citysearch 6/15/2012

super hip speakeasy: make a reservation, remember the password, gather colleagues, have a wonderful evening! more

Mirroring the atmosphere of the 1920 prohibition speakeasies 12/7/2010

by jmix at Menuism Provided by Menuism
My friends wanted to spend a night in the bars of San Francisco, so we decided to try Bourbon and Branch.... more

Overrated comes to mind 5/9/2010

Wow I could not be more disappoint in Bourbon & Branch. The drinks were delicious, the and the waitress was great, but their rules were atrocious and their doorman should be shot. We were here for my friend?s birthday and the hostess actually had the audacity to tell us we were being too loud. We had the entire upstairs to ourselves, and trust me, we weren?t being loud at all. We were just laughing. I didn?t know fun came to die here. After that it completely killed our mood, so we decided to leave. Then when I was outside hailing a cab, their doorman asked me if I needed help getting a taxi. He proceeded to get me a cab which I thought was nice. When I got into the taxi he told the cab driver not to drive away because ?she is about to give me a tip.? I stared at him completely baffled and he proceeded to tell me he only works off tip. I lied and said I didn?t have any cash. GUESS WHAT JERK, NO ONE ASKED YOU TO HELP ME. I was getting my own cab before you OFFERED to help me. I will NEVER come back to this place again. Pros: Great drinks Cons: Rude staff more

Full of Fine Spirits.... 4/21/2010

So I kept hearing about this secretive bar in San Francisco & decided to search it out. I do like a well made drink and have no qualms with sending back a poorly made one. Don't think this will ever be a problem here. If you want to relive a time where ""speaking easy"" to order a drink was a must, this is a beautifully hidden location. What was crazy is I pass this Tenderloin location ALL THE TIME & never even took a double take. We were seated immediately after entering & given time to take in the 1920's decor before a neatly dressed waitress quietly approached to explain specials of the evening.To be fair I ordered something I normally do, sidecar my way(w/ makers mark bourbon). It did not have a sugared rim, since I guess back in the 20's it would not be made that way. The waitress did tell me that classic is w/ brandy. I later, had it classic style & enjoyed it also. They do take pride in their mixology. My guest had a very refreshing tequila concoction that was the special & went back to try an eggy drink from their extensive menu. They were both great sippers. If you are a drunk, this is not the place for you. You come hear to chat quietly, sip a neatly made drink & think about would you have survived the prohibition w/out these little hidden dispensaries. I think a lite food pairing would have given it 5 stars. Pros: private Cons: not for dining... more

Lofty Price For Lush Drinks 2/1/2010

You really attend this modern-day speakeasy for the experience, and not the so-so drinks. Make a reservation (or just know the nightly password), ring the bell, and enter the unsuspecting luxury lounge. Sip pricey cocktails in the library or the main bar, and take amusement that most people have no idea this sign-less location is an extravagant '20s throwback (and I guess that's more than half the fun). Be fully prepared to drop a few dollars to have a good time at this place. Pros: Keeps the riff-raff out Cons: Expensive! more

Good luck calling through 8/20/2009

Tried getting through on the phone for a week for reservations, left several messages as prompted, and no one called me back. That's fine - finally got through on a Thursday night, and was asked to hold. No problem. Genius left me on hold for about 15 minutes, so I hung up to call back - they never picked up the line, so it was BUSY THE WHOLE NIGHT. Who doesn't have call waiting???? The brain trust there will not be seeing my money. There's nothing more frustrating than calling and hearing a busy signal. Lame. I've been there several times before - the drinks can be good if you know what you're ordering. Neighborhood is sketchy, but hey - it's SF. Pretentious self-important staff should take a customer service academy lesson. Pros: cool drinks Cons: pricey, not so brilliant staff more

Great place if you know the password 7/1/2009

Cool 1920's throwback. Great place to take a date or the wife. Pros: No iphones allowed Cons: No wine selection more

Nice drinks but rude staff 5/26/2009

Love the quirky drinks and the decor.. unfortunately when I organized a group of friends to go there for a birthday one year, they would not seat us at neighboring booths, continually asked us to be quiet, and took FOREVER to serve drinks. Maybe this is place is best experienced with one or two friends on a night where you don't have much to talk about more

FANTASTIC off the beaten path bar with hard-to-find menu 3/20/2009

Small Batch lovers unite! This is a fantastic bar and a welcome change to the standard going out location. So go online, make a reservation and get a password. You'll go back again and again, this place never gets old! Pros: Menu, location, atmosphere, ALL of it! more

Better Know The Password 11/18/2008

This is the kind of bar that you exists, but you've just never actually been to it. If you can find the password, make sure to stop by. B&B serves up drinks that are so fresh you'll remember what they tasted like a week later. Seriously. Pros: fresh memorable drinks Cons: if you dont know the password, you aren't getting in more

Proper Drinks, Elegant Atmosphere. 3/15/2008

I think Boourbon and Branch is superb. more

poor service even before we arrived 11/2/2007

I made a reservation for six via the online form (since B&B doesn' t publish a phone # for reservations) and almost immediately received a confirmation. A couple days before the date I wanted to update the group to 8 and filled out another form. By the day of the reservation I hadn't heard back, so I called and spoke with Kayla (found the number on my inital reservation confirmation). She explained that tables only seat six max and the larger tables were all booked, so I couldn't increase the reservation. When I tried to explain my frustration that no one had responded to my second request, her answer was not an apology but ""we're a high volume establishment"". She was not in the least bit apologetic, and told me she wouldn't listen to my frustration but would either cancel my reservation or hang up on me! I never swore or did anything to offend her personally. I understand its hard to get a last minute reservation in SF, but when you (1) provide only the web as a way to make initial reservations (2) don't respond to the requests and (3) act snobby when guests express frustrations because your too busy to be concerned with them, this reveals extremely poor customer service skills! more

We still drink Jack & Coke 9/3/2007

B & B is fine for what thier concept is, but we still drink jack & cokes guys. more

Blew my mind. 4/17/2007 If you are interested in liquor at all and like to talk a lot of baloney at parties like I do, then go to this bar and talk to the bartenders. If there was a doctorate program for bartenders, these guys would have there degrees. ?Excuse me Dr? I?ll have a?? you get the picture. There is so much beautiful booze on the walls there. It?s like a museum of glistening bottles. The decor and ambience helps a bit. By a bit I mean it might just be the coolest room available. It would be a regal idea indeed to take someone here to impress. The back room Library is surprising to walk into. The only other place in the states I liked better was the Barber?s Closet at Hotel Washington in Madison, WI. But that was back in the Dalmer days. The Barber?s closet burned to the ground in 94. more

Great drinks, great atmosphere 4/2/2007

Ok, so it's hard to get in. Get over it! Yes, it can be difficult to get a reservation but once you are in you will appreciate the obstacles. I took my boyfriend here for his birthday since he is a huge bourbon fan and not only did we get exceptional drinks, we were actually able to have a conversation without screaming at each other. The relaxed vibe is wonderful and the revolver exceptional. Kudos to B&B. Pros: Drinks, atmosphere, noise level. Cons: Seedy neighborhood. more

Evolving to a Revolver 3/30/2007

Bourbon and Branch has a profound collection of cocktails. Even more profound is the ability of the bartenders to deliver on the promises of the menu. Being very well informed the bartenders operate my like mad chemists behind the bar with lab droppers, meticulous measuring of pours, and tediously adhering to the firing of orange peels and crystallization of negroni caviar. You'll have to get a spot at the bar to sample the deconstructed negroni. If you only get to sit in a booth, then don't miss out on the Revolver, a bourbon cocktail, and the elderflower #10, a light and cheery champagne based cocktail that will dance on your buds. more

Nice try, but just not the real thing. 3/28/2007

I really wanted to like this place. Very cool concept, and a nice looking room. A little bit of rigamarole to get a password and reservations. We arrived a little bit before our 6:00pm appointment, and were told to come back at 6:00pm. Once in, we were seated in a fairly tiny booth that was extremly uncomfortable and cramped. In spite of the fact that there were only about six customers in the place, our first round didn't get to the table until 6:20pm. While they have a fairly large drink menu, it lacks the classics and observing the bartenders made me feel as though they were making things for the first time. Each shot carefully measured, but none of the smooth fluidity of an expert bartender. These guys looked more like chemists trying an experiment. As a Seattleite, I'm used to some really professional bartenders who know their cocktails, and these guys just aren't in the same league. A nice try, friendly waitress, but not a serious bar. Pros: Cool idea, nice room Cons: Not very creative drink menu, lack of professional bartenders, an appointment to have a drink??? more

Can be an adventure to get there, but so cool once inside! 1/12/2007

My party loved the old fashioned 1920's feel from the tasty cocktails, vintage music, to the mysterious arrival procedure. We arrived an hour early to our Friday night reservations, but the staff was more then friendly to accomodate us. Reservations only to enter assures that everyone in the bar has a seat and a waitress and/or bartender. No having to stand three deep up at the bar for a drink. Located in the heart of the Tenderloin, getting to the bar is the only part that requires attention and care. We came up from LA and could not have found a cooler bar. All of us can't wait to come back. Pros: Cool ambience, friendly service, reservations only, Tenderloin location, Cons: Tenderloin location, parking more

I Can't Get In 12/20/2006

I've Been There. I've Been There. I've Been There. I've Been There. But just once. Awesome. Now I can't get in. I can't get in. I can't get in. I can't get in. I can't get in. Give me a reservation. Please. Pros: The best cocktails ever Cons: I can't get in more

Never been there. 12/19/2006

Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. Never been there. more
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  • In Short
    Reservation holders hit the buzzer, give the password and step into this lush lounge, decked out in maroon brocade wallpaper, dark woods, flickering candles and a gorgeous,...

  • 1/25/2007 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Neighborhoods:

    Northeast, Tenderloin