Take a Shot at the Buckshot

Usually, when people think of going out in the city, they immediately turn to neighborhoods like the Castro, SOMA or the Mission -- traditional nightlife hubs, with the highest concentrations of bars. While these neighborhoods do have a plethora of great places to grab a drink or five, sometimes one great bar is better than a handful of good ones. Take, for example, the Buckshot.

Located in the otherwise sleepy neighborhood of the Richmond District, the Buckshot is much more than just your average local bar. On the outside, it looks like any other dive, but once you enter, the scenery is completely different. Reminiscent of a cabin up in the High Sierras, the Buckshot's walls are lined with deer heads, skateboards, KISS dolls and other knick-knacks. This, and the woodsy decor, help give the bar a relaxed, comfortable feel that's lacking in many of the city's better-known haunts.

“It’s rad coming here,” says  24 year-old grad student Peter Walker. “I don’t have to deal with a line, the people are much more real and there’s so much to do.”

Despite the low-key atmosphere, the Buckshot refuses to let things get boring. With pool, skee ball and a variety of arcade games--plus a new photo booth installed as of February--patrons will be hard-pressed to run out of things to do.

“I get really tired of just sitting at a bar, waiting for a drink,” says Jennifer Wong, 28. “I like that I can do other things at this bar other than just sit on my ass and pound drinks.”

As an added bonus, the laid-back, game-filled atmosphere invites a crowd that's friendly, inside and out.

“There’s just no feeling of pretentiousness,” says Walker. “It’s all killer no filler here. Just a good time with no bullshit.”

While many appreciate the charms that Buckshot has to offer, others still see the commute as too much of a chore.

“I like that bar, but why would I go all the way out there?” says Lindsay Garcia, 28. “I live in the Mission so it’s like super out of the way and a cab ride home would expensive.”

Still, for those who make the effort, Buckshot proves time and time again that the trek to the Richmond District is worth it.

“Where else are you going to get drinks and skee ball?” says Wong as she sips her Gin and Tonic. “I mean, it’s freaking skee ball! That alone makes this place legit.”