In need of some Yuletide gaiety during this dreary impeachment season? There are a few spots around the Bay that are pulling out all the stops to amp up the Christmas spirit, if you're into that sort of thing.
Below, a few suggestions for where to find an extra-large helping of cheer to go with nog or your holiday toddy.
The Holiday Cirque Bar and Gingerbread House at the Fairmont Hotel
The grand Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill always decks itself out for the season, and this year in addition to the life-size gingerbread house — which draws major weekend crowds — they've revived the hotel's legendary Cirque Bar on the lobby level as a holiday-themed cocktail stop. It's only open Thursday to Sunday (5 p.m. Thurs. and Fri., 3 p.m. Sat. and Sun.), and it's a place to get a delicious, Xmas-y drink high above downtown.
Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason Street at California
Naughty or Nice at 25 Lusk
Kind of like they did for the finale of Game of Thrones, 25 Lusk is doing an Instagram-friendly, immersive holiday pop-up called "Naughty or Nice." Both the downstairs lounge and the Rooftop 25 bar, in addition to having some photogenic backdrops, feature an all-day holiday brunch menu from executive chef Matthew Dolan, and an array of festive cocktails from Elmer Mejicanos. And up on the roof there’s a chimney scene where you can sip your Sleigh Ride cocktail (picture above) beside Rudolph.
25 Lusk, near Townsend and 4th Street
Deck the Halls Bar
A couple of noted barkeeps are doing this pop-up holiday bar in the former Rusted Mule — which closed in August after two years on Sutter Street. The place is now fully decked out with decor and snow-globes, and the team of Nick Floulis (Chubby Noodle), Ken Luciano (Forgery), and Shaher Misif (Cantina) are serving up holiday-themed libations (including vegan nog!) in festive glassware until Christmas Day. There are also snacks, and if you bring a toy to donate to Toys for Tots, you get a free order of tater tots.
1217 Sutter Street at Polk; open Thursday to Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sunday to Wednesday, 4 p.m. to midnight
Miracle at Pacific Cocktail Haven
Once again, PCH near Union Square is doing the holiday cocktail pop-up Miracle — only this time it's also happening simultaneously at Paper Plane in San Jose. The bar is in total, tinsel-y Xmas mode and there's a special menu of drinks being served daily from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., all the way through New Year's Eve. And there's a drink called the Bad Santa.
580 Sutter Street near Mason
Clock Bar at the Westin St. Francis
The lobby of the St. Francis, per usual, has a ginormous, rotating sugar castle in the middle of it along with plenty of garland and holiday stuff. And right off the lobby is the cozy, always wintry-feeling Clock Bar, where the barkeeps will be happy to make you a nice warming Manhattan or hot toddy.
355 Powell Street, open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily