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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Smuggler's Cove, San Francisco, CA (bar)
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Smuggler's Cove, San Francisco, CA (bar)
Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5864
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2009-12-05 12:23 pm   Permalink

Name: Smuggler's Cove
Type: Nautical Rum Bar
Street:650 Gough Street
City:San Francisco
Zip: 94102
Phone:(415) 869-1900
Status: Operational!

Smuggler's Cove is the ultimate destination to experience the entire world of rum. From classic Caribbean drinks to the legendary exotic cocktails of famous tiki bars, Smuggler's Cove showcases the past, present, and future of a remarkable spirit. Smuggler's Cove offers an unparalleled selection of rare and premium rums to enjoy on their own or in carefully crafted cocktails. Smuggler's Cove features an incredible interior full of vintage nautical decor and relics from some of San Francisco's most famous historic watering holes.
Smuggler's Cove Website

[ This Message was edited by: Unga Bunga 2009-12-08 12:26 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2276
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2009-12-07 5:29 pm   Permalink

I know people were asking about nearby hotel recommendations. It turns out a hotel TofuJoe & I really like alot is closer to it than we had thought (less than a mile, or about a $5 cab ride).

It's the Hotel Whitcomb
http://www.hotelwhitcomb.com/ and we really like its historic qualities. At ~$89/night, it's a good deal.
"If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning."
-Catherine Aird

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 66
Posted: 2009-12-08 09:29 am   Permalink

Looks like the website is up.


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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2989
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2009-12-08 11:39 am   Permalink

Here's some recent online press. Congrats Martiki!






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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 637
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Posted: 2009-12-08 12:51 pm   Permalink

Anybody have a photo of the exterior of this new destination?

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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3767
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2009-12-08 4:24 pm   Permalink


Oki NiKsoKoWa
(Hello all my relatives)

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Joined: Oct 26, 2008
Posts: 86
From: the Pacific island of Alameda
Posted: 2009-12-08 7:29 pm   Permalink

It's everything that Martin's [and Notch's] fans expected, and maybe more. Decor is totally coolaceous, waterfall is a neat touch, and I love all the homage to tiki past. Only had time to try a few drinks Sat, but the Euridyce is an excellent sipping rum, the Mai Tai is distinctive and original [but more "classic" or traditional than my favorite Island Mai Tai from FI], and the heavily spiced Smuggler's Rum Barrel is my favorite so far.

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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3767
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2010-02-03 5:20 pm   Permalink

Does anyone else feel like SC makes ya' feel like you're inside a sunken ship? (am I stating the obvious) or was it the peyote? All these descriptions but nobody has mentioned that. The waterfall evokes a leak in the ship. Anyone else get that vibe?

Now I recall the large rocks jutting thru the hull too so I know I'm correct about the concept. I'm not crazy afterall.

Who needs peyote when you have Smuggler's Cove.

[ This Message was edited by: Jungle Trader 2010-02-03 19:39 ]

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 6166
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2010-02-03 7:37 pm   Permalink

Wow...with that description Vic...I am going to have to set up a road trip pretty soon...it sounds fun...or is that your peyote howling.

Next time 1961surf/Bill comes up to NorCal, we are going to make it there. Hurry up Bill....the ship is sinking.
"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2723
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2010-02-05 09:21 am   Permalink

Tikiyaki Orchestra visits the Cove !


Awesome !

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Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 8
Posted: 2010-02-08 3:44 pm   Permalink

I finally made it to Smuggler's Cove. Had a fun talk with Martin.

I had three drinks. A Mai Tai, the Smuggler's Rum Barrel and an El Presidente.

The El Presidente was excellent. The best I've had.

The Mai Tai was fabulous. Apparently they make their own sugar concoction for it and other custom made ingredients too.

The bad news for me was the Smuggler's Rum Barrel. Way overspiced. All I could taste was allspice. The other wonderful ingredients were completely masked by the overwhelming allspice.

I like the mug though.

I accused Martin of being addicted to allspice and cinnamon. He responded, "Yes I am, but I think that those are good things to be addicted to."

I'll return to try other drinks of course.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2989
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2010-02-17 6:05 pm   Permalink

The Associated Press (AP) carried this story today. That means Martin's smiling face is on most major media in the US. Congrats Martin!

Rum Revival Sparks New Interest in Old Spirit

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2010-02-17 18:12 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11606
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-02-17 7:30 pm   Permalink

And lookey what we have here, as one of the pics for the article:

Congrats Martin, and congrats Lake Surfer!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 02, 2008
Posts: 1981
From: NorCal
Posted: 2010-02-17 7:54 pm   Permalink

I met up with Vantiki and his wife last week at the Cove-it was my 1st time there and we got there pretty much right when it opened.

I had 3 drinks...including my standby the zombie and that had to be hands down the best zombie I have ever had. seriously. The menu is extensive and just when you make up your mind you spot some other concoction that has you drooling...then another...and another...making up our minds took at least 15 minutes.
I did try 2 Cove drinks that were fantastic but I am a zombie addict and no matter where I go I will always order one. The Cove's drinks were above par and that zombie was epic. EPIC i tell ya!

I spent the entire time downstairs and met up with some other folks that are regulars at Forbidden Island before Vantiki and Mrs. Vantiki arrived. I think the decor from the second story up is fantastic. Although I never got the "getaway" feeling I get every time I visit Forbidden Island it had a great mix of tiki/floats/lighting/water feature that went along with what you would expect from the place just by its name.

I was not as impressed with the downstairs.

We were curious as to why the staircase was metal. We were hoping for wood. I can understand that metal is a heck of a lot easier to clean and maintain but wood would of been perfection.

A few things such as seating were big issues for us that night. The bench seats are too high and too straight up and not condusive to turning sideways to talk to the person next to you. I wish the booth backs were lower or sloped so you could rest your arm along the back or that they even had some arm rests so that you could get comfortable. We did like that you could sit around the pool over in the corner and although the room was somewhat crowded it didnt feel like you were squashed in at all.

It would of been nice if the "rhum" boxes that were serving as mini tables were not as low to the ground or so small. All of us thought that barrels or even taller boxes would make more sense and prove to be more functional. As it was the boxes were knocking into our knee caps and kept being pushed back and forth to make room in order to pull our chairs closer to the bench seats so we could all hear what each other were saying.

The lighting that goes along each side is really too bright if you sit back against the bench. Maybe gels could be placed over every other bulb to give more ambiance and be less harsh on the eyeballs when you lean back. Darkish room then bright white light...it was a little too bright sitting back even when you werent directly under the bulb.

Music--there were people that you could tell had also never been to the Cove that were openly making comments about the music. I have no idea what the heck was playing but whatever it was it didnt fit. I wasn't expecting "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum" but the bagpipe/drumming was completely out of place and everyone was finding it distracting--not just the folks on our side of the room.

Misc-Swizzles--we did have a moment where Vantiki (you know who lives in Hawaii) wanted to take back a few swizzles with him as souvenirs. When I went up to the bar and asked the bartender if I could take some of these he said "Um only 2". This completely threw me esp since I did more than I do at most tiki bars and asked.Kind of petty but also pretty lame. Swizzles are like advertising and as many of you something I enjoy collecting. I ended up giving my drink swizzle and the 2 I was rationed to Vantiki to take with him since you know he lives in Hawaii and I figured I will pick some up next time I stop in. Shame though since at the time I was going to buy 2 rum barrel mugs but after that swizzle rationing I changed my mind. *shrug*

All in all I give the drinks a 9.5 out of 10 (10 to be awarded later after I work through at least 1/2 the menu), decor from the mid level up an 8.5 (the bathroom threw off my grade because it reminded me of being in an office bathroom)and the downstairs decor a 6.

So for what its worth that is my honest review. Maybe not the same as many on here but I thought I would share our opinions as a patron and supporter of all tiki related things in the Bay Area. Do I think the Cove is worth a stopover for a cocktail or two if you find yourself in SF--you bet. Maybe next time I will hang out on a different level

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2158
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2010-03-06 09:51 am   Permalink

I love it.
The drinks are the best anywhere and I love the atmosphere.
Upstairs is the place to be for this crew although all of it is very spectacular.

It's like going back to the Foggy Grotto except with a larger area and more decor.

I can't wait to go back.
But I have to.

Oh yeah, I already wrote the Smuggler's Cove song. I'll post a mp3 of it in a few weeks when I learn it all the way through without the thoughtful pauses.

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