It’s no secret I’m a big baseball fan, but right now the San Francisco Giants are playing retro torture baseball, making it really hard to watch.
So when the game’s not going well, it’s nice to check out another sport or some cute guy across the way. You can do both at Hi Tops, which calls itself the first gay sports bar in San Francisco.
I was suspect on whether Hi Tops could make a success of the space that was once the club-like Lime, which in its waning days were known mostly for the drunk sorority girls stumbling out onto Market Street on Sunday afternoons during the bottomless mimosa brunch. But Hi Tops has totally stripped itself of any hints of Lime, with a lively decor, full cocktail program, and extended bar menu.
Seems like the changes are paying off because every time I visit, it’s packed. And not everyone is watching a game on the many flat-screen TVs. The owners keep the crowds coming with board games and friendly bartenders.
For the food, it’s a creative bar menu with standards like corn dogs and hot wings. But it’s also has some fun with things like pork chop on a stick (actually a boneless pork filet) and probably my favorite ahi burger in town. While the blackened ahi burger ($14) is perfectly cooked with a flavorful remoulade, other items are kind of a miss like the grilled chicken cobb salad ($12) and pork chop ($9) that had too tart of a BBQ sauce.
I tried some fun sounding cocktails with sports theme like “Joe Cool” or “The Big Unit” and ironically they all looked kind of the same, a light yellow drink.
Side note: It’s a casual spot, so the food is ordered in the back and you get a number. But the drinks are only sold at the bar, so you have to end up going to two spots for your food and drink.
The Last Bite
Hi Tops has gotten the gay sports bar theme down pack, but makes the entire room appealing to gays and straights. While the food can be a hit or strike, I will always go back for the ahi burger. And when the Giants are down in the 9th, it’s nice having a crowd of fun-loving guys around to commiserate.
Hi Tops, 2247 Market St., San Francisco. PH: 415.551.2500. Open from 4 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. weekends. Kitchen closes at 10 p.m. No reservations. Major credit cards accepted. hitopssf.com
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