I know, I know -- today's hip, cultured SFist wouldn't be caught dead so close to the wharf. But there's some really cool stuff down there; places from the past that have stood the test of time -- and the Buena Vista tops that list.

Okay, here's the nutshell version: The Buena Vista is a bar down near the wharf that was founded in 1916. Its claim to fame is the successful re-creation and subsequent introduction of Irish Coffee to America. Yes, Irish Coffee, that declicious mix of sugar, whipping cream, whiskey, and java that warms you up, cools you down, and makes you happy down in your soul.

It's admittedly difficult to give booze (thanks to our draconian commerce laws regarding alcohol shipments), let alone a mixed cocktail with perishable ingredients, as a holiday gift.

Well, you can give the next best thing -- Irish Coffee-related doo-dads and other tchotchkes from the Buena Vista's gift shop. They have glassware, mugs, posters, golf apparel, and all sorts of other opportunities to give a slice of old-time San Francisco to a loved one in another locale.

The Buena Vista Cafe is located at
2765 Hyde St (cross street is Beach)
Phone: 415-474-5044
Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 a.m., and weekends 8 a.m.-2 a.m.
The gift shop is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 7 days a week.