Place Pigalle Bar in Hayes Valley

07Mar09

When you first walk into Place Pigalle, you would think you’re in the Haight or the Mission, not Hayes Valley. Not exactly known for having a series of no frills bars, Place Pigalle manages to solidify itself as the neighborhood’s bona fide dive. 

Nice by dive bar standards, it’s definitely the place to hangout for the locals who just need a place to grab a beer, shoot some pool, and hang out when they don’t feel like dropping some serious coin at one of the many fancy restaurants and bars that are scattered around the neighborhood.

This place is definitely “what you see is what you get.” When you walk in, you’ll find a few small tables and seats, as well as a small bar. They only serve beer, wine, and sake, so if you need some hard liquor, you’d best be going elsewhere. Thankfully, their beer selection is top notch, featuring over 20 domestic, import, and micro brew beers on tap. Good news for the beer drinkers out there, you can order anything on tap by the pitcher. They also have plenty of bottled beers, including one of my personal favorites, Chimay.

In the larger back room, you will find more tables, seats, and funky art lining the walls. They also have a pool table and foosball table, but the wait can be really long. I’ve never had a chance to play either, because there’s always a group of drunk people hogging the table. There’s only one bathroom, too, so if you’re the type that would be turned off by that, then you probably shouldn’t be hanging out in divey spots. And this place is NICE for a “dive!”

The crowd is a mix of locals, artsy and creative types, and the occassional group of people popping in from the sidewalk. They play a good mix of music, too, usually chill hip hop and jazz. It’s definitely not a party scene or a club, as most people are there just to hang out and talk with their friends and mingle with the crowd.

I like it because it’s a nice change of pace from the typical Hayes Valley scene of boutique shops and fine dining restaurants. Though I do like splurging on finely crafted cocktails at Absinthe and munching on fancy fries at Frjtz, sometimes I just need a place to grab a nice micro brew and kick back, and Place Pigalle gives me just that when I’m in the neighborhood.

Place Pigalle
520 Hayes St. (between Laguna St. and Octavia St.) 
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 552-2671 

Also check out:
John Colins Bar in SOMA
Playground in Japantown 

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