Where: The Alchemist, 679 3rd St. (near Townsend St.), 415-746-9968
What: Former Gitane GM Kinson Lau runs this ballpark-adjacent (and decidedly un-sporty) bar, decked out in flickering sconces, pseudo-Victorian couches, and with nary a flatscreen TV in sight.
Crowd: Workers from nearby Adobe, Levi’s, and Ubisoft swarm in after 5 p.m.
Prices: $11 cocktails, $5 to $8 beers, and wines by the glass are $12, max. Thai bar bites from Root (downstairs) are under $14. Look for weekday happy hour specials from 5 to 8 p.m.
Order This: The spirit-forward Room with a Vieux (pictured) or the B.A. Baracus: a mix of scotch, cider, and housemade ginger-habañero syrup that outsells every other drink for a reason.
Originally published in the May 2013 issue of San Francisco.