SF: Churchill & Rye Bars


Following dinner at Frances, we headed to newly-opened Churchill. Formerly a gay bar, Churchill seems to be a mix of the previous clientele and local hipsters. My friends said they didn’t have a cocktail list though what is this!? (Side note- really great pictures of the drinks on their website– be sure to click on them individually). There are however, two featured cocktails; Jennie Jerome from Brooklyn and the Monte Carlo. Churchill displays the ingredients (i.e. the bottles) on top of the bar.

Monte Carlo, Brooklyn

Monte Carlo – Eagle Rare single barrel 10 year bourbon, Benedictine, bitters, lemon

Jennie Jerome from Brooklyn – Bulleit rye, Dolin dry vermouth, maraschino, Averna, bitters (I suspect this is a variation of a Brooklyn which instead of using Averna uses Amer Picon).

If I had known there was actually a cocktail list, I probably would have ordered Churchill’s Southside (Raynal VSOP, Smith & Cross rum, lime, sugar, mint, soda) or Pegu Club (Hendrick’s gin, Cointreau, lime, Angostura bitters). Actually, maybe not. I really did like my Monte Carlo and the Jennie Jerome was quite nice.


198 Church St.,  San Francisco, CA 94114


Next we headed to the Tenderloin to try out Rye. I found the modern tiki paintings pretty cute. Like Churchill, it was very busy. There were four of us and we ordered Captain Jack is No Captain Ron (the special that night), Fraised & Confused, Heyday and Van Gough. I had the Van Gough.

Heyday, Van Gough

Captain Jack is No Captain Ron – silver rum, Creme Yvette, lime, ginger ale

Fraised & Confused – Batiste Rhum Blanc, pummeled strawberries, Licor 43, habanero sauce, lemon. My friend the spice fiend thought it’d be spicier.

Heyday – Gin, Cocchi Americano, Leopold’s Georgia Peach Liqueur, fresh grapefruit. Very heavy on the citrus, couldn’t really taste the peach.

Van Gough – Bols Genver, maraschino, lime, grapefruit, egg white, absinthe spray. After trying the Heyday, I was afraid mine would be too tart but it actually was very balanced.


We were sitting on the side with the huge rack of bottles. My mind spun with the possibilities.  What a great display!

Cold Whiskey Punch

I ended my second night in San Francisco with the Cold Whiskey Punch (rye, Kraken spiced rum, ginger, lemon, bitters, prosecco). I wanted a bit more of the Kraken spiced rum in this as I tasted mostly prosseco. I wondered how it’d be without it.

Both Churchill and Rye were cool bars with reasonable prices. So far my fave bar in SF is still Beretta. But things would change the next couple of nights. Stay tuned for Days #3 and 4.


688 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102 – (415) 474-4448