But sometimes you wonder what it felt like back in the Gold Rush days, when bordellos lined the city's waterfront, a man without a mustache couldn't be trusted, and a spittoon was a spittoon.
Welcome to Taverna Aventine, your new Old World watering hole, opening tomorrow across from the TransAmerica Building.
Brought to you by the Vintage 415 gang (Ambassador, Mamacita), this two-story hangout offers you a bit of everything—Cal-Ital bites like Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder Sandwiches (starting Monday), post-work happy-hour treats and classic cocktails late-night.
You'll literally step into history when you walk in, as the door marks the original border of the Barbary Coast. Inside the vibe is Gold Rush saloon-meets-Italian cafe—from the antique piano and San Francisco relics, to the sleek patina-mirrored bar and mural of Rome's skyline.
For den-like privacy, you'll want to head underground to the dimly lit Parlor, where the low ceiling and original 1849 seawall put you in the right mood for a strong drink.
Speaking of which, they're also going to be doing a pretty amazing Locker Program, where you can stow away your own liquor and cigars and enjoy them with friends during private hours.
Because some things never get old.