Mixologist: Springsteen-inspired 'Incident on Beach Street' 

The Pub

When it comes to Ghirardelli Square, there are typically two reasons why you would find us in spitting distance of this notorious tourist trap: We get weak and need large ice cream sundaes every blue moon; and hey, mom and dad like. However, after visiting The Pub — the street-level bar and restaurant on Beach Street, offering pristine views of the Bay — we definitely have a few more. First, there’s bartender Mike O’Brien, a transplant from Long Island, N.Y., who is 100 percent delightful. Then, there’s the menu loaded with finger-licking entrees such as pulled-pork sliders, Texas-style beef brisket and amazing meatloaf. Oh, man, and the Tommy Tots, a ridiculous recipe that’s best described as glazed tater tots. Think General Tso’s chicken, but in potato form — and we mean that in a good way.

900 North Point St., San Francisco, (415) 351-0500, www.ghirardellisq.com

Where are you from originally? I am from New York. Long Island. Been out here for 2½ years.

Do people from Long Island drink Long Island Iced Teas more than the average person? I think that people who you see drinking them are probably underage and you should card them again.

What brought you out West? I chased a girl like every dumb guy.

Did you catch her? Unfortunately, I already had her trapped because she was going to school.

Are you guys still together? No. Like all good love stories.

How did you get into bartending? I was in sales for 10 years. I worked for AT&T. I was 9-to-5 and I just realized, “Oh, my god, I’m going to the bar every night and spending money. Why don’t I just work in the bar and get paid to do that instead.” There was no reason not to do it.

So you think you’ll stay in the industry for a while? Yeah! I’d love to own my own bar one day. That’s definitely a dream. I once heard that nobody goes to a bartender’s funeral, they just go to the bar owner’s.

You made us the Incident on Beach Street. We’re curious to know: What was the “incident”? Actually, it’s from a Bruce Springsteen song, “Incident on 57th Street,” and Scotty [Broccoli, the owner] loves Bruce Springsteen. He made it for him once. At least that’s what he tells me.

If you could make a drink for anyone, who would it be? I’m thinking Frank Sinatra. Sinatra definitely liked to drink.

Since you guys are located in Ghirardelli, we have to ask, are you a fan of chocolate? I mean who’s not? I never thought I was a fan of chocolate, but then you find yourself eating it.

What’s the best cocktail you do here to drink with chocolate? A chocolate espresso martini.

What are your thoughts about white chocolate? I don’t know. It’s like it wants to be vanilla, but it’s not. It’s not bad, but it’s not great.

Incident on Beach Street

  • 6 counts Stoli blueberry vodka
  • Equal parts lemonade and iced tea

Shake ingredients together and pour over ice. Add straw.

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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