Attention cocktail lovers: Big—the beloved menuless cocktail bar in the Tenderloin—is closing on june 15th. Hurry over and get your fix in.
Be warned. Big has seven Rules of Engagement, the first of which is "Jollity and merriment are welcome. Horseplay and jackassery are not".
"Don't be cautious with your orders, the bartenders love being challenged. Your drink will take time to make, but for all the right reasons. "
"Chat up the bartender and put yourself in his hands. You won't regret it. Don't ask for a Manhattan; ask for something Manhattanesque."
It’s a sliver of an unmarked space, so the best way to identify it is by looking for a flickering lantern above the door (if it’s not lit, they’re not open). Make your way inside to one of six tractor-seat stools under the red-velvet ceiling and make eye contact with the bartender.
Your directions for him can be as general as “something sour,” as specific as “Manhattan, heavy bitters, 1.5 cherries”—or you could just tell him about your day and he’ll pour you something you didn’t know you needed.
There's no set menu, and in the style of Milk & Honey in New York, you just suggest a drink, or some flavor you're feeling that instant, and Felley will make you something either classic or improvised on the fly, or some combination of the two. His main goal, he says, are "balanced and clean flavors," and not overworked mixology messes.