The Wilson, a reservation-only, password-protected bar hidden inside an already-elusive bar, Bourbon & Branch, is taking reservations now.
"Make reservations, and keep it small and intimate - the place is tiny. Visiting in pairs works the best."
Think of this as your regular B&B experience with a hefty dose of fine-dining hospitality. Once you make your online reservation (up to two people, for up to two hours), you’ll get a confirmation and password that you’ll use at the main door, whereupon you’ll be escorted into the long, narrow room to your seats.
The Wilson (named after a missing woman whose bloodstained purse was found in the walls during construction) still has the same 1920s Prohibition vibe as B&B. So you’ll feel right at home amidst the damask and exposed brick walls.
At your seat, you’ll find a personalized, date-stamped menu printed with your name—no two visits are alike. It’s arranged like a three-course prix fixe of cocktails, with an aperitif, a main and a digestif or punch. Of course, you can mix and match your drinks—or stick with the tobacco/bourbon/coffee Pinkerton.
And since there are three bartenders for only 20 guests, you’ll get plenty of face time for an in-depth conversation about the ins and outs of tobacco tinctures.
It'll serve "investigative" cocktails made with the rarest B&B spirits and crazy tinctures/bitters (tobacco, sarsaparilla, etc.), a $30 three-cocktail prix fixe, and three boozy punches served in stainless steel, police-evading tea pots, presumably voiced by Angela Lansbury.
The Wilson isn't just a bar-within-a-bar with a 1930s gumshoe theme. Bourbon & Branch's new side project takes San Francisco's bar scene one step further down the path it has been traveling for the past few years. Bartenders have become cooks in their own right, brewing and infusing and stewing and concocting, taking ownership of the drink in ways we never imagined in the vodka-cran age.