My old local, San Francisco Brewing Company, at Pacific Street and Columbus Avenue changed hands over the New Year and got spiffied up. The vibe is very 1910 right down to the menu inspired by the Barbary Coast era the saloon embodies -- marrow & beef pie; clams with potatoes, corn and sausage; crock of beans; bourbon bread pudding. Not to mention classic SF cocktails. It's fairly-priced for such a classy joint and doesn't tip yet into corporatism or the relentless upscaling that mars one corner of town after another. Honestly, the ownership previously gave it no love even if the regulars and staff did. It feels loved and tended now.
The neighborhood is slowly evolving though not at pace with other parts of San Francisco. There is an entrenched 'something' in the district that keeps it from progressing and thriving beyond tourism and nostalgia. It's a complex nexus that isn't exactly under one jurisdiction. I wonder if the building of a new Community College campus a block away from The Comstock will push the area forward? The saloon may be both a reminder of a time as well as a harbinger of the fresh decade ahead. Cheers to that.