Your next tropical vacation is in San Francisco’s Financial District, thanks to the guys behind Bourbon & Branch, Devil’s Acre, Local Edition, and Rickhouse -- this veteran team sneakily opened Pagan Idol, the most epic tiki bar in the country last night. How do we know? Well, in true FutureBars fashion, Doug Dalton and company visited all of the country’s best tiki bars and worked for over a year to create a rendition that takes the best of each. They more than match The Tonga Room’s over-the-top décor, and combine it with Smuggler’s Cove’s attention to delicious drinks -- while dosing the whole thing with fun, FutureBars-flavored surprises.
In Pagan Idol’s iteration of the watering hole classic, the Polynesian vibe isn’t so much a theme as it is a way of life -- an immersive experience that will bring you the closest you’ll ever get to joining the cast of Gilligan’s Island or Pirates of the Caribbean... minus the cheesy Disney camp, plus seriously good drinks.
Your journey starts in the cavernous hull of a sunken wooden ship, where the first bar mimics a ship’s saloon. On your right, portholes line the wall, featuring looping videos of fish and sharks swimming by. Custom, glass-blown krakens take over as sconces, and mermaids wrap themselves around glowing glass globes. It’s essentially like drinking in that underwater cave where The Little Mermaid stores her collection.
Take your classic Mai Tai -- or must-order beverage The Banana Life -- in the “captain’s quarters,” which is perfect for getting cozy next to an exotic saltwater fish tank as the sounds of aquatic life make you feel part of an underwater world. If shipwrecked adventure is more your style, continue on to the second bar -- and massive back room.