Maybe because San Francisco hardly kicked its drinking habit during Prohibition — the 18th Amendment was rather loosely observed by local law enforcement here — or perhaps because Anthony Bourdain once called San Francisco a "two-fisted drinking town," many have come to think of the City by the Bay as a particularly wet one. But one SoMa bar owner and longtime industry observer seems to think things are drying up, especially late at night, although well before 2 a.m. last call. That's John Ottman, one of the owners of Bloodhound (Seventh and Folsom), a guy who also runs the excellent Bernal Heights neighborhood bar Holy Water, and whose partners there are behind Churchill, the favorably located, frequently packed bar at Church and Market.
“The happy hour crowd is great," he told Hoodline, speaking of Bloodhound. "But by midnight, it’s a ghost town. It’s a citywide thing.”
For a peek inside Bloodhound, let's turn to a recent post on the pet-friendly website This Dog's Life:
Inside Bloodhound, patrons will find rich wood paneling and soft Edison-blub lighting, as well as overstuffed leather chairs and pool tables awaiting some friendly competition. A ceiling painted with the silhouettes of birds alludes cheerfully to the sport that inspires this favorite establishment’s décor.
The bar’s no-nonsense hunting-lodge theme aligns with the noble name of this classic establishment. “The name Bloodhound evokes the expectation of hunting, outdoors and rustic feel without really bringing to mind the actual dog, a bloodhound,” says Bloodhound’s co-founder John Ottman “I like to think it subconsciously prepares you for what’s inside."
So, what's going on here: Is there something specific happening on Bloodhound's strip on Folsom? Is it appropriate to take Ottman's example as a referendum on city drinking in general, or just a useful anecdote?
I, for one, find it not so surprising to hear that a bar in SoMa — that Bloodhound in particular — is particularly popular with the after-work crowd. It's kind of perfect for that, though I find nearby Driftwood to do the trick and the live music doesn't hurt. Is this really a citywide thing, though? Are we happy hour crazy and late night dog-tired?
Something to discuss at happy hour or over a late-night drink — if that's still a thing.