Haight-Ashbury’s Club Deluxe is keepin’ it classy

Haight-Ashbury’s Club Deluxe is keepin’ it classy

It was St. Patrick’s Day 2010 when David Bates noticed a young bartender struggling to keep up with the thirsty customers at Club Deluxe. “Trying not to be a creep,” Bates, 29, a bartender himself back East, approached the young woman and asked if she needed help. Days later, Bates was hired and today the Boston native, who ironically is a self-proclaimed Manhattan cocktail “kind of guy,” commutes about 45 seconds to work as he resides above the establishment. But when one steps into Club Deluxe, signature cocktails aren’t the only things on the menu. Known for its signature pizza pies prepared by chef Giovanni Iaccarino and constant live jazz, the club has an unmistakable vintage feel. The decor of the bar remains as it was in the 1950s, and with tables and barstools sprinkled throughout the dim-lit room, there is virtually no bad seat in the house.

Club Deluxe, 1509-1511 Haight St. (at Ashbury Street), San Francisco. (415) 552-6949, www.sfclubdeluxe.com

How long have you been bartending and how long have you worked at this establishment? I started bartending back in Boston while going to school, and worked at a salsa club in the city for three years. I moved to San Francisco about two years ago, and have been at Deluxe since.

How is it going to work at a jazz club? I love it. The musicians are like family and I get to hear some of the best local acts in San Francisco. Every night, you hear something new. The culture here is amazing, and aside from the jazz, Giovanni’s pizza keeps me looking forward to work.

What is the strangest thing that you have encountered as a mixologist?
I’ve definitely seen some things over the years, and being on the corner of Haight and Ashbury leaves no shortage of entertainment. It all adds to the experience.

Who are some prominent people that you have prepared drinks for? Well, in Boston a lot of the Red Sox would come in after the games back in the mid-2000s … Manny [Ramirez], Pedro [Martinez] … but Deluxe is more of a locals’ spot. There are definitely some local legends that come through here, but we’re not a high-profile jazz club, and that’s what everyone loves about it.

Have you worked in any other industry?
During the day, I work for an energy-consulting firm, and aside from serving drinks to customers and friends, my true passion is green building and sustainable development. That’s one of the main reasons I moved to San Francisco; this city is pioneering the movement and it trickles back East from here.

If this club had a motto, what would it be?
Keepin’ it classic! Local jazz, fresh cocktails and artisan pizza.

Do you have a special cocktail, and how do you make it? Well, we’re known for a few cocktails, including our fresh-squeezed greyhounds, but the Spa Collins has to be the signature beverage. It’s a house mix of fresh cucumber, ginger and lemon juice, served with vodka or gin, and topped with soda, mint and lime.

Spa Collins

  • 2 oz. vodka or gin
  • 1½ oz. Spa Collins mix
  • Soda
  • Lime
  • Mint

Fill a glass with ice. Pour the house mix. Add the vodka or gin and top with soda, lime and mint.

entertainmentFeaturesFood & DrinkFood and WineMixologistSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A man holds a sign at a rally to commemorate the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside City Hall on Monday, June 1, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Chauvin verdict: SF reacts after jury finds ex-officer guilty on all charges

San Francisco officials breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday after jurors found… Continue reading

"We are on the road to recover. We are on the road to building a stronger San Francisco. And that gives me hope for the future,” said Mayor London Breed at the news conference in Civic Center, San Francisco.  (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Main Public Library to reopen May 3

San Francisco’s Main Public Library will reopen with limited indoor service on… Continue reading

Legislation by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman would require The City to add enough new safe camping sites, such as this one at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin, to accomodate everyone living on the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City would create sites for hundreds of tents under new homeless shelter proposal

Advocates say funding better spent on permanent housing

A construction worker rides on top of materials being transported out of the Twin Peaks Tunnel as work continues at West Portal Station on Thursday, August 16, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s poor track record on capital projects risks losing ‘public trust’

Supervisors say cost overruns and delays could jeapordize future ballot revenue measures

Roger Marenco, president of operators union TWU Local 250-A, speaks at a news conference outside the Muni Kirkland Yard announcing Muni will not be increasing fares on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s union leader encourages riders to say ‘thank you’ to their Muni operators

A conversation with Roger Marenco, president of Transport Workers Union of America, Local 250A

Most Read