Squint into the windows of the Homestead and it's easy to invasion dapper young men in bowler hats sipping old fashions. You wouldn't be wrong—if you were pressing your nose against the glass over 100 years ago. San Franciscans have been coming to the corner of Folsom and 19th to unwind from city life since 1902 when the Homestead first opened it's doors as a neighborhood watering hole. Stepping across the threshold feels like entering a piece of living history; perfectly preserved with waxed moustached men, stiff cocktails, and a pot bellied stove to stave off the fog.
If the Homestead feels like a prohibition era theme park, it's not due to Disney magic, but the painstaking efforts of the owners to restore the bar to its turn of the century greatness. The history is rich, and the bartenders are eager to share the knowledge they've collected about the location. Deb, the Homestead manager, looks like someone with a deep nostalgia for times since past with her cat eyed glasses, rouge lips, and classy demeanor. As I bellied up to the bar at happy hour on a Friday, I watched her charm the regulars as she refilled their spirits and also catered to my research needs. She lovingly.