Dobbs Ferry bartender evokes a bit of the Empire State in San Francisco 

click to enlarge The name of Hayes Valley bar Dobbs Ferry is meant to evoke the New York location, bartender Evans Horn says, as both of the bistro’s owners hail from the Empire State. - ALEXIS TERRAZAS/SPECIAL TO THE SF EXAMINER
  • Alexis Terrazas/Special to The SF Examiner
  • The name of Hayes Valley bar Dobbs Ferry is meant to evoke the New York location, bartender Evans Horn says, as both of the bistro’s owners hail from the Empire State.

Evans Horn has been making cocktails since, well, he was old enough to legally drink them. And after working at multiple establishments in The City, Horn, 26, is now technically the beverage director of Dobbs Ferry, though he prefers to view himself as a “bartender who just gets yelled at more than the others.” With a passion for whisky bullets, skeet shooting and taking care of his guests, Horn seems a perfect fit for this Hayes Valley bistro, owned by Scott Broccoli and Danny Sterling and located at 409 Gough St., San Francisco, dobbsferrysf.com, (415) 551-7700.

You had some extensive bartending experience before working at Dobbs Ferry.

What prompted the move? Danny talked to me about a month before opening. I really wanted an opportunity to build my program ... or at least try. Worst-case scenario, I fail and I learn a lot. But so far, that doesn’t seem to be how things are looking.

So what’s special about this place?

It’s a little town in New York and there’s absolutely nothing special about that place. And that’s kind of the beauty of it. Our owners both have roots there. They met each other out here in San Francisco. And when talking about it, they were taken back to these wonderful memories that they had. They’re probably a little fabricated ... like when you’re young, your dad is bigger and stronger than everyone in the world. But what we want to create is ... you can never go home again because those memories are always different. But we’re trying to bring that sense of calm, comfort and warmth. And I think that’s what it should be like at the bar.

Are you from Dobbs Ferry?

I’m from Bakersfield. My goal is to go to New York and open a bar called Bakersfield and say the same thing: There is nothing special about Bakersfield.

Is that really your goal?

No. Not at all. I would never do that.

Can you see yourself doing anything other than bartending?

I graduated from high school and went to Cal State Bakersfield, because that’s what you did. I paid out of pocket for everything, and I was not envisioning anything. I kind of ran the whole gamut, and it just wasn’t working. So when I got the opportunity to come up here, I figured it was worth a shot to take a little hiatus. I’d definitely go back to school because I love to learn, but I don’t care about a degree. I learn so much every day at the bar talking to people.

Hudson River Tea

  • 1 oz Stoli Ohranj vodka
  • 1 oz Don Q Cristal rum
  • 1 squeeze of a lime half
  • ½ oz. passion fruit puree
  • Almond syrup
  • Cranberry juice (amount varies)

Fill glass with ice. Squeeze the lime. Pour in rum, vodka and passion fruit puree. Add the almond syrup and cranberry juice. Mix with straw and top with a lime.

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