Thee Parkside in Potrero Hill is like the Eric Bana to Zeitgeist’s Robert Pattinson: half as hyped but twice as sexy. It’s evident that this is a place whose owners know the value of managed expectations.
Meaning you walk in skeptical of the cutesy name and boring exterior, and you walk out drunk, and with a new favorite bar. It’s hard for newcomers to even believe how much they instantly love this place, and like being the first person to discover Angelina Jolie or cocaine you know that it will eventually be ruined by its own awesomeness.
The happy hour drink specials are good, like $1 cans of Olympia good, or two shots of Jim Beam and two PBRs for $10 good. As the bartender tells you, that’s a PBR special for PBR drinkers, and then looks at you like you might not be a PBR drinker, which makes you say insane things like, “10PBRsonthisbarrightnow,” and of course once you get them you start clapping to a beat that has nothing to do with the band that’s warming up on stage and humming to yourself in sign language. A trip to Thee Parkside is just another reminder of how badly some people were affected by the peer pressure portion of the D.A.R.E. program.
Lots of bands perform here, and they are as one of my companions says, “crazy, awesome, weird, cool, neat, undiscovered S.F. bands.” So if you’re into crazy-awesome-weird-cool-neat then this place might be for you.
There’s also a kitchen located in the large outside part of the bar, which serves a lot of delicious sounding, bad for you food, the most important of which is the $5 pulled pork sandwich. A sandwich so delicious that it was actually the first pork the bartender had ever eaten, and quite possibly the reason she gave up vegetarianism soon after. I guess she technically gave up on vegetarianism right there, but regardless, who doesn’t like a sandwich special with an anecdote attached? Not me, that’s not who.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming an artist, and I mean, who hasn’t, then here’s another reason: Thee Parkside gives discounts to CCA students, and probably even to people who wish they were CCA students, because at Thee Parkside everyone’s an artist, or at least after 6 shots of Jim Beam they think they are.