John Colins Bar in SOMA


John Colins is one of my favorite bars in the crowded SOMA area around 2nd and Mission. Though there are many places to have a drink around here, such as DaDa, John Colins manages to keep me coming back with their laid back vibe, good music, happy hour, and tasty cocktails.

Nestled in an unassuming alleyway off 2nd Street, John Colins can be easily missed by the crowds filling the rest of the restaurants and bars in the area. This is good news for those in the know.

Once inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by brick walls, vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, and beautiful urban artwork that rotates on a regular basis. There’s seating and small tables along both walls as you enter, but most people will tend to stand around the bar and hang out. It can get crowded on busy nights, though, so if you manage to snag a table, never leave it unattended!

In the back there is a loft area for VIP seating and the DJ, but you’ll usually just find the DJ up there spinning old school hiphop, reggae, funk, soul, and world beats. The place is definitely chill and attracts the type of crowd that appreciates good beats with a good drink. 

View from the DJ booth in the loft above the bar

View from the DJ booth in the loft above the bar

The fully stocked bar stretches across the back and includes an excellent assortment of rums and tequila. They have their own drink menu with specialty cocktails that follow a tropical theme, hence the wide selection of rum and tequila. Most of the house cocktails run $8-9 and are $1-2 off during Happy Hour.

Top shelf tequila, literally

Top shelf tequila, literally

Mirrors above the bar let you check out the girl next to you without looking like a creep

Mirrors above the bar let you check out the girl next to you

Back when the general public actually cared about my Warriors, and Baron Davis was the biggest celebrity in the Bay, he called John Colins his local bar, since he lived right above it in a SOMA loft. They have a drink named after him, called the Boom Dizzle, which is top shelf gin, pineapple, and cranberry juice shaken and strained to perfection for $8. My efforts to get them to change the name have been left ignored.

My other favorite drink here (and many others will agree) is the Dark and Stormy. It’s a layered drink that starts with a delicious ginger beer with a dark rum float. The ginger beer has a great taste and holds up to the sweet rum well, a nicely balanced drink. 

A perfectly layered Dark and Stormy

A perfectly layered Dark and Stormy

I usually stop by here during happy hour, which is Tuesday-Friday from 5-7pm. Their happy hour deals include:

  • $4 wells
  • $4 Guinness and Boddingtons
  • $3 draft beers
  • $3 imports and micro brews
  • $2 domestic bottled beers
  • House cocktails are $1-2 off

Mondays are happy hour all day long! It’s the perfect spot to spend a Monday evening run by going to another bar for happy hour until 7, then hopping on over to John Colins to continue drinking on the cheap with good company and music.

John Colins
90 Natoma St. (off 2nd St. between Market St. and Mission St.)
San Francisco, CA 94105 
(415) 543-2277 

Also in SOMA:
The Ultimate SoMa Happy Hour Gameplan 

B Restaurant & Bar 
DaDa Bar and Art Gallery


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