Next time you are headed to San Francisco, I have a restaurant recommendation that combines a great eating experience with a dose of San Francisco history– Bix. It is located in the Jackson Square area, which used to be synonymous with fine art, antiques, and galleries, but now seems to have transitioned to predominantly law firms and specialty practices, with the few remaining antique stores. There are numerous things about Bix that make it a worthwhile stop.
It is located on the one block long Gold Street, a one block long street in Jackson Square area.
…which is intersected by another alley named BALANCE.
This is a noteworthy zone of San Francisco history, the epicenter of Gold Rush business back in the mid 1800s, where the gold seekers (“forty niners”, referencing 1849) would bring their gold to weigh in the balanced scales and cash in.
Specifically, they brought the gold into the building where Bix Restaurant is.
Great interior design: Dark and cozy, Bix has a beautiful mahogany bar and a clubby two-story dining area of plush banquettes, starched linens, and service oriented waiters. If you happened to miss the historical plaque on the front of the building, you will definitely feel the vibe of old school grandeur when you enter this nostalgic 1930’s/40’s feeling restaurant. It has been featured in movies, commercials, TV shows and books as THE quintessential San Francisco restaurant. Bix takes cocktails seriously, packing in a full house nightly for drinks and live jazz. The menu covers a sophisticated continental range that includes truffled deviled eggs, a daily selection of raw oysters, steak tartare, chili glazed fried chicken, smoked trout salad, seafood, steaks, lobster spaghetti, and terrific black truffle burgers. Everything that our group had was excellent.
The Butler’s In Love is by an artist named Mark Stock. (does this butler look like Don Draper or what…) Sadly, this incredibly talented artist died unexpectedly this year. His body of work is beautiful, and he was a favorite patron of Bix for his artistic talents, magic tricks and contagious enthusiasm for life that he brought to the restaurant when he would stop in. I would love to own one of his Butler series paintings. See more of his work here.
I highly recommend Bix, for the next time you are in San Francisco. At least stop in for a drink… but you won’t want to leave without eating. Reservations highly recommended.
56 Gold Street in the alley off Montgomery between Pacific and Jackson Streets in San Francisco’s historic Barbary Coast enclave.
For more photos of San Francisco and the Bay Area, see my instagram acct and follow for future adventures~