First Look: Soda Fountain-Inspired Cocktails at The Corner Store, San Francisco

[Photographs: Wes Rowe]

When figuring out the concept for The Corner Store, location, it turned out, was everything. "We wanted to keep it cheap and accessible for everyone," bar manager Hans Hinrichs told us. "Looking at the neighborhood here—we wanted to make it fun for families, college students, and the serious eaters coming from Laurel Heights."

The Corner Store is perched on a rather unexpected corner as San Francisco restaurants go—tucked on Masonic Avenue off of the busy thoroughfare of Geary, it's not quite Western Addition, not quite Inner Richmond, not quite...much of anything. But the folks behind The Corner Store hope it will be not just a valuable addition to the neighborhood, but a destination, as well. Hinrichs is optimistic, but says that "being a spot that anchors these neighborhoods together...that's the goal for now."

And then there are the cocktails. Hinrichs, who most recently helmed the bars at 25 Lusk and Foreign Cinema, has concocted a menu playfully riffing on soda fountain classics. Featuring boozy milkshakes, shandies sparkling with housemade seasonal sodas, and plenty of spirit-driven options, the 11-drink menu reads like a serious cocktail menu, to be sure, but one with a decidedly lighthearted vibe. "There are so many great bars around the city...I'm not going to out-tincture and out-bitters the Bourbon & Branch guys," Hinrichs told us while mixing up a rosy-colored cocktail. "We wanted to do something different here."

Hinrich hopes his hyper-local approach to stocking the bar will set them apart, as well. "I want to highlight the growth in local craft distilleries," he said. "If I can't do local, I try to do American-made. If I can't do American-made, I go for small distilleries doing something cool and unique."

We got an early look at the drinks—check out a few of the cocktails (all $9) in the slideshow above »

The Corner Store

5 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco CA 94118 (map) 415-359-1800;