You know when you get together with co-workers after work or after a work event, and the sole purpose is to get drunk(er) and say inappropriate things you’re not allowed to say in the office? I did this a few times at Jack’s with my former co-workers, and always had a blast. We’d cart our blacked out peers into taxis, giggling, wondering if that person would remember who he felt up or what he said to whom the next day.

Every time I would go to Jack’s, I was already drunk, so I never remember playing the jukebox, but always remember belting out the lyrics to an Eagles song I didn’t even know I knew. During these group lessons in camaraderie, my supervisor and I both shared the excitement of looking over jukeboxes and arguing over which song is better than what. And Jack’s is the perfect place for this.

When I walked in on a humid post-rain Wednesday night, a disco song was on, it had the words “dance” in it, but it wasn’t the Le Chic song you’re thinking about. And then Sweet Home Alabama followed, and I totally giggled to myself, as Jack’s is perfect for Sweet Home Alabama. They also have Billy Joel – Live! ha ha ha.

Other hits were great drunken selections like the Immaculate Collection, Sting, Prince, The Carpenters, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, Talking Heads Stop Making Sense, and the usual Pogues, Dylan, Young, Otis. Also the newer rock like Weezer (blue album) and The Killers. Throw in some disco compilations I didn’t fully pay attention to, and you got gold.

You say: “Fuck you, you’re reviewing a tourist trap!”. The Cannery itself looks closed at
night, and Jack’s is tucked into a corner, so at night, it’s not
families with fleeces. It’s a proper old man drunk bar. Also, seeing the place sober, I noticed: it’s pretty cool. There were two tough looking ladies playing pool, and some skeevy men at the bar, but they have a giant fireplace and booths and like 90 good beers on tap.

If this was in the Mission and served black bean burgers, holy shit the young Missionites’ heads would explode. But it’s not, and it has something that in the Mission would seem kitschy, but here, it’s not, it’s totally normal to be drunk and belting out “Sweet Home Alabama”.

It reminds me of those bars you go to when you’re on a road trip and you stop at a small town, and you’re always like “man, I wish there were more of those in San Francisco.” And then reality hits when a really creepy old guy is staring at you and your friend and you whisper to her: “please come with me to the bathroom.”

What: Jack’s Cannery Bar (2801 Leavenworth St – between
Beach & Jefferson)

Good for: drunken co-workers being inappropriately human; feeling like you’re not in SF
Bad for: who the fuck goes to the Cannery?
Cost: $1 2 plays, $2 7 plays, $5 12 plays

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