Exclusive First Look: Clock Bar

Posted on July 22, 2008 Under Travel

Michael Mina’s Clock Bar is the newest collaboration between Mina and the Westin St. Francis, paying homage to the San Francisco hotel’s century-old tradition in Union Square. While the namesake — the Magneta grandfather clock — proudly stands outside the bar, the interior (designed by the Rockwell Group) is a modern throwback. Hand-woven metallic screens allude to the gold from the face of the clock, and the "speakeasy" cubby bar proudly shelves an amazing selection of premium alcohol. The aesthetic is phenomenal, but it’s the drinks that really steal the show. Head bartender, Marco "Cocktail Geek" Dionysos has created a deliciously complex cocktail menu. My favorite creation is also one of the most innovative. The refreshing "Chartreuse Swizzle" showcases the mastery of the very complicated ingredient: green chartreuse. The emphasis here is on local purveyors, with in-house preparation of the drink elements that use old school ingredients like egg whites. Marco's research spans his personal library of over 300 cocktail books, bringing classic cocktails back to their roots. Order the Aviation — a gin, maraschino liquor, lemon drink with crème de violette — and bask in its Lindberg-era glory. The Clock Bar just opened, but be certain that it’s only a matter of time until it’s the hottest spot in S.F.