San Francisco

Peacekeeper brings open-air bar and billiards space to Lower Nob Hill

The team behind music venue August Hall and cocktail bar Harper & Rye has opened another bar just off Union Square, specializing in fresh air, tequila- and mezcal-centric cocktails, and spicy salsa.

Inspired in part by the open courtyards of Oaxaca, Peacekeeper has transformed 925 Bush St., formerly occupied by dimly lit dive Bacchus Kirk, into a bright, airy space full of plants and open ceilings.

The bar's ceiling opens to let in fresh air on sunny days.

Co-owner Nate Valentine (who's also part of the team behind the Blue Barn salad shops on Polk Street and in the Marina) said that Peacekeeper is his first project that's somewhat off the beaten path.

He believes it's a good complement to the surrounding area, which lacked a middle ground between the classy cocktails at Stookey’s Club Moderne and the casual, beer-centric Hopwater Distribution and Hogwash.

The name Peacekeeper is intended to promote accessibility to the neighborhood, co-owner Jamal Blake-Williams said. The bar will literally let the neighborhood in through its vaulted, retractable roof, which will be kept open on sunny days. There's also a fireplace for when the weather turns chilly. 

For chilly days, the roof can be closed, and there's a fireplace to keep patrons warm. 

Peacekeeper also boasts a pool table on the ground floor, and a skee-ball machine in a mezzanine overlooking the main room.

Peacekeeper has a billiards table on the ground floor, and a skee-ball machine on the terrace level.

The bar was designed by Valentine’s cousin Britt Hull of Tide Design Co., who also designed Harper & Rye and August Hall's sister restaurant and bowling alley, Fifth Arrow.

Cocktails come from Blake-Williams, who said Peacekeeper’s cocktail menu is his first wholly owned creation. “I tried the drinks out with my partners, and they liked them,” he told us.

The drink menu highlights mezcal and tequila, but offers a full range of spirits, including a sizable whiskey selection. Blake-Williams says that every drink features fresh ingredients, prepared in a small downstairs prep kitchen.  

The bar's namesake drink, for example, features a spicy serrano pepper-infused tequila that is mellowed with ginger, pineapple, and lime. The Big E-Z's smoky mezcal flavor is balanced with Aperol, honey, and a splash of dry hard cider. 

Peacekeeper's cocktail menu features mezcal and tequila options, as well as some vodka- and whiskey-based drinks.

All cocktails are $12 or less, and Peacekeeper also offers a list of mostly locally sourced beers and wine on draught, as well as some bottle options.

Guests can bring in their own food, or munch on chips and salsa sourced from the Mission's La Palma Mexicatessen. The chips are also accompanied by Lomalita habanero sauce, which is made by one of Blue Barn’s managers.

Peacekeeper is now open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Friday, and from noon to 2 a.m. on weekends.

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