Concealed behind an unassuming storefront, there is a hidden gem of a lounge in San Francisco known as Local Edition. Housed in the basement of the vintage Examiner building in the Financial District, Hearst inspired cocktails and mid-century libations permeate the area that once contained the newspaper’s printing presses. Upon hearing of this great bar, some of my friends and I decided to make some headlines of our own on a Monday Night, and headed down for a drink.
The entrance to Local Edition is located on Market, not far from 3rd Street. After one’s checked in with the doorman, a staircase leads down to the submerged tavern. For residences, I am not a fan of basement level apartments (also known as garden apartments). These offer far too much yin energy, as one’s home is literally underground, completely surrounded by the earth (similar to a burial plot). Those who inhabit such dwellings can suffer from a variety of issues, including feelings of being stagnant, and poor health. However, this is not a residence – it’s a bar. When bars or restaurants reuse subterranean spaces like this, it adds a wonderful yang energy to a very yin space.
Everywhere one looks, the history of William Randolph Hearst and The Examiner has been captivated and transformed. Famous newspapers are showcased throughout in frames or under glass tables (pictured at the top of the post). Vintage manual typewriters are displayed as monuments to a bygone era of news reporting. Even the marble-topped tables make a statement. Not only are they beautiful, durable, and a wonderful example of the earth element, the marble used is remnants leftover from the construction of Heart Castle.
Honoring and preserving history is of vital importance to every generation. In order to evolve and grow, we look to the past to see our former successes and our unfortunate mistakes. Using this knowledge helps us to decide which paths to take, inspires us to create and innovate to new heights, and further enriches us as a people.
How is preserving history good feng shui? Well, first you have the green aspect. When one reuses or repurposes an object or material in a new fashion, this helps to reduce energy and resources that would be needed to make something brand new. It’s also a way of clearing clutter. An item that has been sitting around collecting dust is employed in a new way, thus changing negative energy into positive energy.
There is also the matter of style, which I find to be of great importance in feng shui. In our home environments, one common factor is that everyone has their own sense of what they do and do not like. And, either knowingly or not, history influences our individual style. There can be a particular time period we are drawn to – or music from a decade we can’t seem to get enough of – or an allure to vintage clothing of a specific era. We take samples of the past and intermingle them into our modern tastes. Having items that are personally nostalgic in one’s environment is comforting, and gives one a sense of peace and belonging.
History influences us in all kinds of beneficial ways. One example is in alcohol and mixed drinks. All of the specialty cocktails at Local Edition are influenced by vintage recipes with modern flare, looking at those from the 1950′s and 1960′s. Many of the libations derive their names from things of a newspaper origin, or anything connected to William Randolph Hearst. One drink I didn’t get to try was The Rosebud, a tequila based beverage with vanilla simple syrup and sea salt. The namesake of this concoction was actress Marion Davies, Hearst’s mistress of over thirty years. Rosebud was her nickname. Let’s look at the libations I did try:
The Eagle – My friend Rachel could not stop talking about this drink, so I had to try it – and I’m so glad I did! Bourbon, soda water, and a root beer simple syrup combined make this an incredible beverage. I could drink these all day. Refreshing and addictive.
Local Edition Cocktail – The namesake of the establishment, this is Local’s own edition of an Old Fashioned. Bourbon, cherry-infused bitters, and an orange peel simple syrup are the main components of this headliner. Strong and bold.
Rexroth – Pictured on the left is the Rexroth, named for the famed poet and political activist. A complex mixture including Peychaud’s bitters, pisco, and an egg white, this was intriguing and unforgettable – much like Rexroth’s poetry. His writings are poignant and impressive. A selection of his work can be found at Poemhunter: http://www.poemhunter.com/kenneth-rexroth/poems/
Fidel and Che – On the right is Fidel and Che, a unique twist on a mojito. Although rum, lime, and mint are used as in traditional mojitos, this drink also uses aperol, an Italian apertif similar to campari. Vibrant and invigorating.
The Pulitzer – Named after the famed publisher and journalist, The Pulitzer was the ideal libation to close the evening, Scotch, honey, angostura bitters and manzanilla sherry served straight up in a small goblet with an orange peel garnish. Very strong, and perfect for sipping. Daring and memorable.
Comfortable seating, walls draped in scarlet fabric, and high ceilings evoke a romantic and relaxing atmosphere. Although reservations are not required, my party and I did make some just to be safe. Decanter service is provided should one desire a favorite bottled spirit. Local Edition also offers great live music on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On the record, I will state that is a brilliant and highly auspicious place to grab a drink. Off the record – This place is awesome! I can’t wait to come back here again – for the drinks and the history.
691 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Hours: Monday – Friday 5:00 pm – 2:00 am, Saturday 7:00 pm – 2:00 am