Imagine a Victorian library, add booze and you’ve got this place—low lighting, dark wood bookshelves, hundreds of hardcover books. The kind of joint where you’ll want to toss on a velvet robe, light up a pipe and throw down with Hemingway over an Old Fashioned. (Actual robe and pipe discouraged.)
Two cocktail menus are in the works; one low-octane wine and beer, one very spirit-forward. East Coast style cocktails — more about the booze, than the juice. Big Sister is a bourbon and whiskey gal and is "not trying to rewrite the bar books." Classic cocktails will have a reasonable price point but Big Sister wants to make sure good booze is used.
The wallpaper wouldn't be out of place in a San Francisco parlor, circa 1910, or a smoky bar in Paris or Prague. The light is dim and the jumping jazz soundtrack gives the place a speakeasy vibe. One wall is taken up with a low bookcase from which patrons are encouraged to borrow books — it's stocked with everything from the classics to the Hunger Games. This is the kind of bar where it's not only accepted, but encouraged, to sit on your own and read.
As you'd expect from the name, the bar was started by two sisters, Mikha Diaz and Mary Elliott, who got the idea while on a train between Krakow and Warsaw. As such, the atmosphere and menu are vaguely European bistro, with some Northern Californian bits thrown in