For several years, I’ve been a patron of the Blackthorn Tavern, located on Irving Street just past 9th Avenue, and it’s always been a pleasant place to have a pint and hang out on a Sunday afternoon. I’d always meant to write a review for the site, but never got around to it. For once, procrastination has its merits, as the Blackthorn has been taken over by new ownership, and even before their grand re-opening on June 23rd, the improvements are already starting to show up.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there was nothing egregiously heinous with the Blackthorn in its previous incarnations – I’ve been a patron on and off since 2001 – but even before the many renovations that are being worked on this week, I’d noticed a definite change in the atmosphere of the place.
If I were to put it in one word, that would be “friendly.” When I go in for a casual pint after work or on a weekend, I feel welcome and usually end up staying longer just because it’s such a pleasant place to be. Not all bars can claim that, and for me it’s important. After all, if one is spending their money in an establishment, you at least want to feel welcome, right?
There have been other changes as well. On Fridays, they often have free food at happy hour, and they’ve added new flat screen TVs as well, so you can watch sports, or whatever, from pretty much any seat in the bar. They are continuing the Blackthorn’s tradition of hosting live music, and they’ve even got Wi-Fi available as well.
I am looking forward to the re-opening this weekend, and hope that once things get rolling, the reviews on Yelp and elsewhere get updated accordingly. Given the Blackthorn’s overall coolness, and proximity to the 9th and Irving N-Judah stop, this is probably one of the best bets for a night on the town right on our Mighty N.
Blackthorn Tavern – 834 Irving Street – 415 564 6627
Next Door to Our Favorite Market, the 828 Irving Market!
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Yeah! The Blackthorn is definitely a good bar, and the Little Shamrock on Lincoln near 9th is another great pub near the N.
Methinks you should have a pub crawl challenge from your readers. Two criteria: the bar must not suck, and it must be within two blocks of the N Line. Extra credit (and props to your liver) if the pub crawl route also includes the Owl service.
Funny you should say that. I’ve actually been working on one for a while now – it is just a matter of lining up the particpating bars and working out some details. We hope to do so later this summer.
The Little Shamrock IS a great bar too, and one of the oldest in the area, I believe.
If anyone can suggest places past 19th, I’m more than welcome to suggestions.
Check out nicely redone The Yard (formerly Goal Post) on Noriega between 20th and 21st Ave).
Also, don’t miss Riptide on Taraval between 46th and 47th.
Not past 19th, but Milano’s Pizzeria on 9th at Irving has a nice beer pitcher special on Tues/Thurs and their pizza isn’t bad.
The Little Shamrock is excellent.