Northside SF  

October '09

Penny Pincher:
The Pub at Ghirardelli Square
By Cow Hollow Clyde, Marina Times - Special to Northside San Francisco

Beef brisket at The Pub at Ghirardelli Square
photo: Luisa Rosadas
A longtime restaurateur once told Clyde, “Don’t call my place a sports bar. Chicks don’t dig it.” It’s the kiss of death for owners. How many sports bars are morgues when the Big Game isn’t on? Yes, Clyde has seen more action at a mortuary. Ladies, how many of you meet your girlfriends at sports bars for a night out? None of the San Francisco women Clyde knows, therefore Clyde rests his case.

But now that it’s football season, the Clydester and his gal pals like to find places with good food that may also happen to have the game on. Then everyone’s happy, and some obnoxious, drunk frat boy clad in a USC sweatshirt isn’t ruining your night. Friend-of-Clyde and affable New Yorker Scott Broccoli owns The Pub at Ghirardelli Square. While the game may be on, The Pub is about food first, and Scott saw a niche for cooking good barbeque here on the Northside. In fact, Clyde used to think the only barbeque joint worth going to was Big Nate’s in SOMA. Not anymore.

The Pub’s menu has a New Orleans feel to it because of Scott’s many trips there. Real “Nawlins” grub isn’t overspiced, it’s just flavorful. There is a story behind every dish on the menu: “My own personal invention, never before made as far as I know,” said Scott, “is Buffalo bleu mac ’n’ cheese. I was in the kitchen one day and was having one of those internal struggles that only comes from too many Budweisers the night before. I couldn’t decide if it was Buffalo wings or mac ’n’ cheese that was going to be the silver bullet for my hangover. Then the light bulb went off and the new menu item was born.” It’s a generous portion (like everything on the menu), so Clyde and photographer Luisa Rosadas shared it. Then came the entrees … we were lucky enough to be there on a hump day: “Wednesday is also the night of the week where you can find me, the owner, in the kitchen cooking up a storm,” said Scott.

Ms. Rosadas had the beef brisket and Clyde had to beg for bites. The pulled pork beckoned Clyde, and it was equally as tasty and not Tabasco on steroids. Game or no game, The Pub at Ghirardelli is all about good food with single-meat entrées under $20, and that includes two sides and cornbread. It’s also open until 1:30 a.m. for food, and the bar is open until 2 a.m. “The late-night dining thing has yet to capture as many people as I would like. Where else can you get ribs or truffle mac ’n’ cheese in this town at 1 a.m. for under $15?” Scott said.

Clyde says glide on down to the Pub for good BBQ at a fair price.

The Pub at Ghirardelli Square
: 851 Beach Street (near Larkin), Monday–Friday noon–2 a.m., Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–2 a.m., 415-351-0500,

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