Fig & Thistle: A Warm Oasis in Hayes Valley

Anna Roth
Fig & Thistle isn't large, but it's mighty welcoming.
Sometimes this job breeds selfish urges, especially when you discover the perfect little spot and are torn between sharing it with the world and keeping it to yourself.

Brand new Fig & Thistle in Hayes Valley is that kind of place. It's everything you'd want from a neighborhood wine bar: small and cozy, tucked into the ground floor of a Victorian on a charming Hayes Valley alley, serving a well-curated wine and beer list as well as cheese plates.

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The wine bar's from former Alembic hostess Angel Davis and partner Nguey Lay, and instantly has become the kind of warm, cozy meeting place that every neighborhood needs. It joins the likes of Two Sisters Bar & Books as a sweet location to chat things out with a friend, bring a date, or conduct a casual business meeting (a recent visit had evidence of all three).

The long, thoughtful wine selection highlights mostly California reds and whites, with a few roses and a champagne cocktail made with bitters, a sugar cube, and a lemon twist. There's also a solid list of local beers by the bottle (no taps). The redwood bar and tables gleam with light from the incandescent bulbs, and there's a bunk bed sofa-seat situation perfect for canoodling (whatever that means. Do kids these days "canoodle"?).

Eater SF has some more photos of the interior.

It wasn't too packed on a Monday night, but the handful of tables and bar seats were occupied. Hopefully it will stay busy enough to remain open, but not so busy that we can't drop in whenever we feel like it. Because we're pretty sure it's going to be our new clubhouse.

Fig & Thistle: 313 Ivy (at Gough), (256) 651-9903.

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