If you're one of those people that needs a next-level gimmick to get you to buy a drink, have I got a bar gimmick for you! Inspired by all those cat cafes, a local outfit will be bringing us a rat-filled version, with booze.
The San Francisco Dungeon, the tourist attraction at Fisherman's Wharf featuring live actors portraying moments of horror and spookiness in SF history — including a newly added, obviously exploitative "Chinatown Gang Wars" scene — as well as an Escape From Alcatraz ride, is re-doing a pop-up that it previously tried out two years ago. It's a bar where you can play with live rats while drinking.
The pop-up runs from June 13 to 15 at 145 Jefferson Street, adjacent to the Dungeon, and the $50 tickets get you into the Dungeon, followed by a 30-minute stay in the Rat Bar. The rats are being provided this time by Ratical Rodent Rescue.
Now, as former SFist contributor Beth Spotswood described it for the Chronicle back in 2017, the last time this group tried this rodent-themed pop-up gimmick it left something to be desired. That was a Rat Cafe where all that was provided was plastic-wrapped cinnamon rolls and self-serve coffee in paper cups, and at some point "two women in bright-red shirts arrived, each holding a terrified rat." During that media preview, one rat urinated on a BuzzFeed writer, and no one was permitted to hold the rats unless they had previous "rat experience."
This time, the press release promises 30 minutes of "rat canoodling" in which guests can "touch and hold the real-live rodents." Also it sounds like there's just one cocktail option at this Rat Bar, and it's the Ama-RAT-O Sour — an amaretto sour with some kind of "rat tail" garnish. And they've provided a press photo featuring two happy "patrons," one sipping her amaretto sour with a rat on her shoulder. See below.
If you're super excited to hang out with some rats, go here to purchase tickets for one of the evening timeslots of this three-day pop-up. (The Rat Cafe allegedly sold out in 45 minutes.) I hope it's everything you dreamed.