3349 20th St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411037.758829 -122.415780
Neighborhoods: Central East, Mission
Great for smokers – Unless you're a smoker or don't mind stinking like one once you leave, Thieves Tavern is not for you. But otherwise, this is a great little find. It's a dimly lit, stripped-down dive with no ambience whatsoever (other than tea lights on the tables), but pool tables, a kick-ass jukebox and super-friendly regulars make this a worthwhile stop.
Smokers welcome at this locals-only Mission haunt. – With no outside sign, this place stays lively through word of mouth. Aesthetically, it's a standard, dimly lit, bare-bones Mission dive. Thanks to the owner-operated status, it also eschews California's no-smoking laws. There's usually one bartender working, but service is swift and friendly. Besides barstools, there's a handful of tables for groups, as well as a bench for pool players waiting for a game. The regulars are mostly late-20s to early-30s beer drinkers. There's entertainment aplenty, with pool tables, pinball machines and video golf. The jukebox provides a wealth of eclectic selections, including Iron Maiden, Bruce Springsteen and the Pixies. Small groups often use Thieves as the final stop on their night of debauchery. The surroundings are vibrant enough to keep spirits high, but not so loud that a simple conversation requires shouting.
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