At Paragon, people donning the orange and black throw one back 

Located a half-block from AT&T Park, the spacious bar Paragon is a popular watering hole packed with Giants fans sporting orange and black on game days, and with a hip, South Beach crowd after work. The lively outside patio, which is separated from the bar by a roll-up door that is open when it is nice outside, is a particularly sweet spot to sit, offering a view of the park and fans streaming by. The adjoining restaurant features loftlike ceilings and leather dining booths. Bar manager Matthew Dondanville came up with the Fleur Loco cocktail during a trip to Miami, where he enjoyed lots of rum drinks, inspiring him to come up with his own rum variation.

Paragon, 701 Second St. [at Townsend Street], San Francisco, (415) 537-9020, www.paragonrestaurant.com/san-francisco

What was it like during the Giants’ championship run? It was mayhem. I’m going into my third baseball season here.

What bars do you go to? I’m more of a dive-bar person. I live in the East Bay. I go to the Missouri Lounge in Berkeley — it’s my local hangout. Anywhere you can get a shot of whiskey and PBR for 5 bucks is good in my book. I like good music, good lighting, definitely a professional, friendly bar staff; just a warm environment.

What do you like to drink? My favorite cocktail right now would have to be an Old Fashioned. I’m a whiskey and beer kind of guy.

What drinks are popular here? Mojitos, basil lemonade, cucumber gimlet. Blood orange, brown sugar and sage Old Fashioned. That’s something I came up with for wintertime.

What makes a good bartender? A sense of humor, personality. Customer relations go far in a bar setting. Being able to hold a conversation. Knowledge of spirits, wine, beer. You have to be well-rounded.

What famous people have come in? The great pitcher Randy Johnson. He lived upstairs. Randy Johnson is a very, very tall man [6-foot-10]. Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean. Freddy Sanchez, he was very nice. Steve Kinney, former Chicago Bears lineman. Ronnie Lott. He was nice. He sat and chatted with customers at the bar.

Where would you like to have a drink? I wanna sit in one of those ice bars and drink cold, cold vodka.

What unusual situations have you dealt with? Last year’s World Series brought about some interesting situations. An individual punched me in the face. He was too intoxicated, so I asked him to leave. I was face down in the cement. About two minutes later, he was arrested. I didn’t press charges. I just wanted him to think about it in the drunk tank.

Anybody that you’d like to serve? Three musicians [all dead]: Janis Joplin; Jimi Hendrix; Bradley Nowell, guitar player for Sublime. But I’d just like to sit around a campfire drinking whiskey with them.

Fleur Loco

  • 2 segments of fresh grapefruit
  • 2 sugar cubes
  • 2½ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz. Bacardi light rum
  • 1½ oz. chamomile or hibiscus tea

Mix together in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into tall glass with ice. Garnish with sprig of mint and grapefruit wedge.

About The Author

Donna Domino

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Sunday, Jan 25, 2015

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