Tied and True

Tied and True

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Gently used handcuffs.

Snoop Dogg’s mug shot.

Keys from a 19th-century prison.


Point is: this week could get interesting.

At Barbarossa Lounge, a new sliver of a North Beach drinkery that used to be a prison, but now is a place with way more oysters, leather and tasteful bondage pictures than a prison. It’s open now, here’s the slideshow, and here’s the menu.

They’re all about celebrating the neighborhood’s… colorful past here. And if that celebration happens to require celebrity mug shots, framed jailhouse keys, glowing red lights bouncing off exposed brick walls and caged chandeliers floating above leather banquettes, then so be it. Also, it does.

Happy hours make sense here. Holiday parties in the semiprivate Bubble Room make sense here. Any one of the 11 drinks named after infamous pirates, madams and dance halls—like the Madame Lucy’s Reign with tequila, amaro and pear—also make pretty damn good sense here.

But should things take a date-ier turn, there’s always the Outlaw’s Lounge downstairs. It’s cozy. It’s dark. It’s intimate. You can get oysters and harissa shrimp down there and discuss history over a rotating grog selection.

We decided that dates love grog in this story.

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