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Nightlife

San Francisco Home > Nightlife > Play Station

Published May 14, 2012

Play Station
A New Funhouse Bar on Polk

Today, we’d like to tackle one of the most pressing questions of this or any era:

What happens to amusement parks when they die?

Some become parking lots. Some become tragically haunted by Scooby-Doo villains. And some become...

... this place: Playland, a handsome new cocktail bar inspired by an old seaside amusement park, now open in Polk Gulch.

The backstory: there was an amusement park off Ocean Beach. People rode roller coasters and ate cotton candy. Then it closed. The end.

Or it was the end as of 1972. But now, Chutes at the Beach (aka Playland at the Beach) has been reborn as this place.

Kind of—this place has a ton of decor inspired by the old park. Like a smoke-breathing bull’s head from Guadalajara mounted on the wall. And colorful marquee lights overhead. And tchotchkes like a dancing, tambourine-playing monkey sprinkled around. And that’s just downstairs.

Grab a pint of La Chouffe or kick back shots of tequila, whiskey or fernet (all poured from taps), then head upstairs. If things start looking upside down and blurry, it’s not you—it’s the funhouse mirrors.

Oh, you should know that on Friday they’re unveiling their specialty cocktail menu that includes more whimsical cocktails. Think: cotton-candy cosmopolitans and a riff on the Moscow Mule called the Russian Bear.

Aka the Boris Yeltsin.
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