I know that "Tourist" is tattooed to my forehead right now. Do we really have to rub sriracha mixed with Russian mustard into the wound that was torn open by a rusty butter knife?
The only reason we found ourselves in Johnny Foley's Irish House is that we were already in Union Square after shopping a bit, we didn't think our own hotel's bar was any better than the mini-bar that we didn't have in our room, and we were beaten down by the walk back to our hotel from Ferry Plaza. Oh yeah, I didn't mention that? You mean I forgot to tell you?! We (and by "we" I mean "not me") decided it would be "fun" to walk back from Ferry Plaza to our hotel so we could see all the sights along 257 blocks of Market Street. Fun! Whee!
Market Street is very boring on foot. The only thing that was open was a lonely Sprint store that was pathetically screaming out for attention with offers of free phones and low rates. Or maybe I confused that with one of the "massage parlors" we had seen the night before. I cant remember.
Johnny Foley's is a very big restaurant/bar/pub on the corner of O'Farrell and Powell, and like most establishments in the Union Square area that is surrounded with business and pleasure hotels, it is easy to tell that it caters to a tourist crowd. Wen we stumbled in around 4:00 in the afternoon, walk-weary and shopped out, all we wanted was a stiff drink and a place to sit down. Even tourist traps can provide that.
The space has high ceilings and has typical Irish decor - dark wood walls, heavy furniture, green lampshades and stained glass accents. We walked through the half-full room that is divided into mini-areas by strategically placed low walls and columns, and plopped down on the first vacant stools at the bar.
Our bar seats were directly in front of a set of taps, all labeled with beers that certainly sounded Irish, or at least non-American. Of course, if it's not Foster's, it may as well be from Australia. I had a cup of steaming hot coffee spiked with a generous shot of Kahlua. I will give credit to Foley's for having enough class to fill the glass with hot water, let it sit for five minutes to heat the glass, then pour my drink.
Foley's was a good place to catch our breaths and catch the second round of the NFL draft. Leinart to Cardinals. Good for him. He can stay with the sunshine. If I lived in San Francisco, I probably wouldn't go to Foley's with local friends, but if visitors are staying in Union Square, it's not a bad place to grab a drink with them.
Johnny Foley's Irish House
243 O'Farrell Street (@ Powell)
San Francisco, CA 94102
** a year ago today, we de-lubricated at pink's