One of the hottest trends in the San Francisco nightlife scene right now? Bars within bars. While the concept may seem confusing, it’s really quite simple. A bar or restaurant that has extra space, say a downstairs, upstairs, or back room, opens a distinct experience in this space. Bar owners and restauranteurs are able to engage with more diverse clientele and experiment with different recipes, techniques, and ideas. To witness the trend first hand, head to one of the following spots.

Cold Drinks
China Live is a Chinese restaurant and food emporium in China Town. It has a bustling bar downstairs, so most people might not know about its decadent upstairs cocktail haven, Cold Drinks. Mixologist and cocktail expert Duggan McDonnell is behind the drink menu which includes a wide selection of Scotch whiskey. According to McDonnell, Scotch allows the bartender to be unusually creative. “It affords the mixologist a bounty, so much variety to layer into cocktails,” McDonnell says. “How did we discover this? By sipping, stirring and shaking, of course. Trust us. Come, and play. As Fräulein Maria in The Sound of Music sang: ‘When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most any thing!’” – Haute Living (09.10.17)