The Sea Star: Who Wouldn't Love a Fancy Dogpatch Dive?
If memory serves, the original Sea Star was sort of a hyper-dive, with linoleum flooring and giant signs for crappy beer, and it had probably been there since Seals Stadium opened. A couple of years ago, it became the Goat. Now it's the Sea Star again, and it's basically everything you could want in a fancy dive (unless you're the type to find that phrase to be such a contradiction in terms that you'll live out your days in self-imposed exile from a good time).
Pete Kane The Last Laugh: Siete Leguas Reposado, Luxardo, Green Chartreuse and lime)
Although the blue exterior -- with a single star that could have been jacked from any proud Texans' home -- is pretty anonymous, the interior has heavy, deep-blue flocked wallpaper, fresh punched-tin ceiling that gleams in the late afternoon light, newly exposed windows, and an overall severity like a haunted hotel. (Plus a pool table, natch.) I was in there awhile with many Giants fans and Johnny Cash was playing the entire time, which sounds almost incongruous with the formal symmetry, but that's part of the fun. The Dogpatch is weird like that.
In by-now-familiar fashion, there is a list of $9 cocktails, from the ordinary (Manhattan and margarita) to the slightly more upscale (Boulevardier and old-fashioned). A Last Laugh (Siete Leguas Reposado, Luxardo, Green Chartreuse and lime) balanced acid against a nice perfumed quality, making a highly drinkable cocktail for the fan of low-brow/high-brow milieus. Twelve beers on tap and a bunch in bottles and cans round things out. And Long Bridge Pizza is a block away.
Once upon a time, the Sea Star was where ironworkers and dudes who toiled in defunct power-plants blew off steam. Now you might find a baseball fan in a top hat or a bunch of line cooks drinking with live-work loft residents taking a break from their Burning Man artwork. Sea Star 2.0 is a winner.
The Sea Star, 2289 3rd St., (415) 552-5330.