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An Introduction

Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, we are barflys, not drunks. There
is a real difference. Drunks just go out to bars with the specific intent
to get drunk on a regular basis. Barflys (like us) tend to go to bars a lot,
but mostly because we’re friends with the bartenders, or because we are getting
together with the locals, or because it’s just more fun to have a beer out
at the local bar, than sitting at home.

Since we have moved to San Francisco, we have spent many hours at our
local bar, the Toronado. The Toronado is a unique little beerhall. Feel free
to click on the links below to learn about the bar, the people, and what
we drink while we are there.

The Toronado is a beer bar located in San Francisco’s Lower Haight District.
The Lower Haight is an eclectic neighborhood, full of twenty-somethings that
have decided to shun the corporate lifestyle and just be who they are. Most
people here are tattooed, pierced or just sporting multi-colored hair. Even
if they aren’t, their friends or roommates probably are.

The Toronado has been written up in every major beer magazine as one of the
best beer bars in the world. Their Barleywine and Belgian Beer festivals
are the sort of events that are legendary in the beer community…. and drinking
these beers are the sort of rough-and-tumble people who love it. Right after
work, you’ll find locals in suits sitting next to locals in leather and chains
– all the time chatting about the complexity of some fruity Belgian beer.
It’s the perfect local dive.

The block that the Toronado is on has a number of other bars and restaurants.
Places that we will mention in the chronicles are:

Mad Dog In The Fog – Half-full of locals, half full of yuppies. The Toronado
just whipped Mad Dog’s ass in softball, giving the Toronado bragging rights
for a year.

Ali Baba’s Cave – Owned and run by Hussein Dawah, one of the nicest people
that we have met in San Francisco. Ali Baba’s serves a sandwich called a
schwerma: spit-roasted turkey or lamb with hummos, hot sauce, potatoes,
eggplant, cucumbers and yoghurt, all rolled up in a piece of lavash flatbread.

Rosamunde – A sausage
shop run by Jeff (Smiiley) Howard. Avery designed the menus and website for

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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