Going Big

A Covert, Menu-Less Cocktail Den in the Tenderloin

None 3 Photos Big
You don’t go to a bar to read.

Meet up with friends, make new ones, get less sober—but not read.

So you’ll approve of a bar foregoing menus altogether in order to customize each cocktail to your liking...

Presenting Big, a closet-sized cocktail sanctuary with skilled barmen at the ready to tailor, create and all-around personalize cocktails precisely for you, opening Thursday in the Tenderloin.

If you feel most comfortable drinking unique cocktails in a plush, dark library in what looks like a late-19th-century barrister’s Victorian mansion, then you hit the jackpot with this place.

It’s a sliver of an unmarked space, so the best way to identify it is by looking for a flickering lantern above the door (if it’s not lit, they’re not open). Make your way inside to one of six tractor-seat stools under the red-velvet ceiling and make eye contact with the bartender.

Your directions for him can be as general as “something sour,” as specific as “Manhattan, heavy bitters, 1.5 cherries”—or you could just tell him about your day and he’ll pour you something you didn’t know you needed.

And what they lack in menus they’ve made up for in rules. Basically, keep cell phone use to a minimum, and jackassery is not welcome.

Their words, not ours.

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