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Review: Church Key

January 31, 2009

The Church Key Bar. To put it simply, come here when you want to be a beer connoisseur. This tiny little hole in the wall, located in SF’s North Beach district, has been getting a lot of hype lately and I was lured in by promises of free beer and wine tastings for its ‘grand’ opening. Always (trying to be) the optimist, I have to say it was a cool place even though the word ‘free’ was nowhere to be seen nor heard. In fact, it was quite the opposite of free. QUITE. But y’know, when’s the next time I’m going to taste the caramel gold that is Belgium’s finest, Pawwel Kwak?

For an East Bayer, this place may not be worth the trek and aggravation of trying to navigate through the crowded and obnoxious neighborhood, but it WOULD be a great place to stop in if you were, say, going earlier in the evening for a show at Bimbo’s. You can even grab a pre-concert bite to eat there, if pot pie is your thang. Do not, however, go for special events like grand openings. The place is tiny and narrow, so no bueno for crowds. There is additional seating in the upper loft area though, which proved to be a wise design choice. But on top of the beer selection being amazing, the decor is rad (be sure to check out the neo-deco-ish wallpaper) and I give them personal props for playing semi un-retarded music. Crowd was young and hip, not sleazy or touristy, which was a welcome surprise. I even scored a sticker from one Broke-Ass Stuart (hey, the one ‘free’ thing offered all night!).

Hey Stu, now you’re not the only one who’s a broke-ass… but at least our money went to a wise investment like delicious, delicous beer.

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