39 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, California
Just north of Market on Montgomery st. you will find the House Of Shields, a stalwart of a bygone age. Located in the financial district there is a distinct feel of old Wall St. from the checkered tile floor to the Victorian accoutrements that adorn the wall. Come in from the fog to warm up to the bar or cozy up in a private booth with one of their unique (and not so unique) cocktails made to perfection.
The HOS has recently been remodeled to better reflect the feel of the area. It was extensively cleaned and updated but it has still retained the original feel, I am happy to say that the beautiful wood paneling and bar has remained unmolested.
Saddle up to the bar and you will be rubbing elbows with both hedge fund managers and local art school students (The Academy of Art is located next door). This diverse mixture allows the bar to create a mellow atmosphere where everyone can feel welcome. Whether you are wearing your best suit or your best flannels there is a barstool with your name on it.
As far as the drink menu is concerned they have straddled the boundaries of both artisanal and simplicity. While they don't claim to have any real specialty they have a great selection of just about everything without going overboard on any one spirit. I personally enjoy their whisky selection and they are one of the bars in this city that carry Pappy Van Winkle. Their well bourbon is Buffalo Trace which is pretty good considering I get excited when I see Jim Beam as the house well. They have a modest beer selection on draught but if you're looking for something a little more special they carry a selection of more "interesting" (I am a high life guy myself) beers in bottle.
For those of you who appreciate a bar for a bit of history this one is for you. It is rumored that President Warren Harding died here while drinking one night but was carried back to the Plaza Hotel (across the street) via secret underground tunnels to avoid a scandal as it was during prohibition. It is a rumor but hey, it makes a great story, and we all know we shouldn't let the truth ruin a great story