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On the Line: Hard Water

We start a new feature today: fun places you can reach on Muni’s historic streetcar or cable car lines.

Our first entry is Hard Water, the hot new whisky bar cum southern cooking temple that’s the brainchild of Charles Phan, proprietor of the famous Slanted Door.

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The whisky wall at Hard Water.

Although Hard Water is just one F-line stop away from the Ferry Building’s Slanted Door, it’s a world away from Phan’s celebrated take on Vietnamese cuisine. The location is Simon Snellgrove’s wonderful restoration of Pier 3 (F-line Washington Street stop). You enter the high-ceilinged space of the historic bulkhead building to find yourself facing a literal wall of whiskies: Scotch, bourbon, rye, Canadian, and more. Try them straight or in some marvelous signature cocktails, such as the Presbyterian (Wild Turkey, lemon, ginger, and soda) or the Roffignac (Redemption rye, lemon, grapefruit, red hembarig syrup, and soda).

Lunch features such entrees as okra etoufee, muffaletta, gulf flounder sandwich, and fried chicken sandwich. Dinner includes seafood gumbo, southern fried chicken, smothered pork shank with black eyed peas and many more, plus appetizers like corneal crusted alligator and pork belly cracklin’.

One note: there are no tables here. Instead, there are seating bars against the walls and in the center of the room. When we visited, it led to a great conversation with some friends we didn’t know we’d make that night. And the food was yummy. As for the drinks, well, that’s why you take the F-line to get there.

You can find menus here.

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