The Big Four
The Big Four Restaurant and Bar © Yukiko Yamamoto/Flickr
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Nob Hill’s watering holes range from sophisticated to shabby, and each one has its own particular appeal. Whether the mood calls for a kitschy-cool tiki joint, a classy San Francisco hotel bar, a taproom brimming with craft beer choices or a sleek lounge pouring inventive cocktails, Nob Hill’s bar scene can quench any thirst.
The story of the Cinch Saloon provides a crash course in Polk Street’s evolution. The facade is a remnant of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, which gave part of the street a cowboy movie makeover. Three decades later, a plethora of gay bars reflected Polk Street’s status as the city’s center of gay life. As the sole holdover from that era and one of the oldest gay bars in San Francisco, the Cinch Saloon is well worth a visit. Inside, televisions broadcast beefcake photo reels alongside Warriors and Giants games, and erotic artwork hangs beneath mounted cattle horns.
The Cinch Saloon | Courtesy of Courtney Peter