Pacific Cocktail Haven – or P.C.H. as it styles itself – is a bartender’s bar. I found out about it from my bartender at Rye who recommended that I stop by if I wanted some serious, creative cocktails. So on Saturday night, my friend and I walked into P.C.H. a little before midnight and we were not disappointed.
We walk into the long, narrow space, which had high ceilings, a bright neon light which lit up the bar, and a darker, more intimate back room. The speakers were playing loud music, alternating between Top 40 pop and R&B. The walls were brick and there were exposed beams throughout, it was a very unique but inviting space, which gave off the “pop up” impression as if it had just been opened yesterday.
The menu was ordered by spirit, and feeling a little unlike myself, I decided upon the brandy section. I was attracted to the “Lucky Melon”, which had cognac, cantaloupe, lemon, macadamia orgeat, and aperol. I decided on it mostly because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cocktail with cantaloupe in it. The drink came served on the rocks in a frosted footed highball glass, and was topped with elderflower and black sea salt.
Each sip started off salty, followed by the zest of citrus and a cool, sweet finish. The brandy flavor was not overly apparent, but the cantaloupe flavor surely was. The drink went down quite smoothly, but was a little difficult to finish at the end with the extra salt accumulating at the bottom of the glass.
Beyond the large and interesting selection of concocted selections, P.C.H. has a lot going for it. The crowd is upbeat and buzzing without being packed or obnoxious, and spots can be had at the bar, amongst tables and couches in the darker back room, or standing along the side wall. The staff’s attention to detail is top-notch, and wide-ranging abilities are impressive. Most interesting is that the bar has 3 freezers of ice in the basement that they use in interesting ways, creating ice spears, shaved ice, as well as custom branded P.C.H. rocks.
You might get a funny look if you try to order a draft beer or an old fashioned, but don’t be deterred – P.C.H. is mixing unique and modern cocktails, serving them in unusual ways, all in a buzzing, modern, bright environment, right in the heart of San Francisco.
580 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA