Jack's Cannery Bar

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BA SCORE
84
good

33 Ratings
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

2801 Leavenworth St
San Francisco, California, 94133-1129
United States
phone: (415) 931-6400

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Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weeare138
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4

I didn't even notice this place until we were walking around the cannery and my wife spotted it. I figured it would be worth it to check it out. They have outdoor seating but we moved indoors when the cool wind off the bay started punishing us.

The little outlet bar on the outside is typical of these walkway venues that you see in nearly all tourist areas. The inside of the restaurant resembles a TGI Fridays in many ways but with a molded ceiling in the dining room and a really cool hand carved mantle piece above the fireplace. There are beer signs all over the bar area, which seats many along the stretched out area. The brick wall behind the bar hosts some vintage beer signs and above, you'll notice several old, retired tap handles.

The quality of the beer seemed ok. There wasn't anything out of wack with the beers I ordered.

Jack's has an ok selection of beer with all of the current Anchor beers available on draft. They claim to have 85 beers on tap but they really have 68 different beers available with only 33 beers listed on their chart. Don't bother asking the bartender what else is on tap, or you'll be greeted with a wise-ass response.
I started on the outside bar, to be told that she didn't know what else was on and that all the beers were listed. I decided to go inside to be greeted with the same response from another rude woman, saying, "what you see is what you get." Wow...stellar fucking service in this establishment. I replied to her remark with, "thanks for being so helpful!" A gentleman behind the bar must've seen I was clearly annoyed b/c the patrons next to me commented on how rudely I was just treated.

He came over and asked if I had decided on what I wanted. I told him that I hadn't b/c I was trying to make out the extra 35 taps behind the bar that weren't listed. He asked what exactly I was looking for and maybe he could make a suggestion...obviously trying to be helpful. He then asked what I usually drink. I told him that I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass but I drink all kinds of different beers and that this would be much easier if they could make a sign/list that is updated when a keg changes. Of course, I get the routine about how they have over 65 beers at any given time and do I know the amount of time it would take someone to update such a list and blah, blah, blah... No excuse, man. If Gingerman, Toronado, Firewaters, etc. can update a list with this many beers, so can they. It's just an excuse to have piss-poor service and more of a reason to not care. Idiots.

They are in a great location and they choose to do things half ass. I saw a crowd of 12 order a pitcher of Anchor Steam and a pitcher of Shiner Bock. It seems like this is the crowd that they're catering too and any good beer they have on tap is by random chance.

On a side note, it seemed I wasn't the only dissatisfied customer. After I tried to find out what else they had while outside, a clearly annoyed man came over to a nearby table complaining about the cost of his martini's. They were $8 each and they were each in a plastic dixie cup. Before kicking over his chair, he stated that this place was the armpit of the world and this bar was ghetto. The crescendo soon came as he screamed louder and louder each time - "Ghetto...GHEttto...GHETT-OHHH!!!" Friggin' classic, man. By the way...the bathroom was pretty ghetto. Use another restroom if at all possible.

Photo of Goldorak
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

We dropped off the rental car (or should I say tank) and our bags at the hotel, and we were ready for a Beer. As a first time visitor, we decided to do a bit of the touristy thing, so we walked up to Lombard street to see the crooked road, and had a great view of fisherman’s wharf, where we ended up going to next, if only to grab a Beer at Jack’s.

A strange décor indeed, it was split in two sections. As you walk in from the street, the right side looked like your typical retro sports bar, with neon signs, pictures of classic cars with pin-up girls leaning on them, and plenty of TVs playing the football game. Knowing that I can’t resist staring at the boob tube, my girlfriend dragged me across to the left side, which had a few booths and tables, well hidden from the chattering cyclops. I’m glad she did, because this side looked much more charming. Great craftsmanship on the ceiling, the back door had tiny rectangular windows that look straight out of the late 19th century and the fireplace was fantastic, with religious figures in a dark wood finish, it almost looked like an altar. It was kind of reminiscent of some of the old estaminets in Brussels, a bit of Au bon vieux temps and a sprinkle of Cirio. That pinball machine and pool table didn’t fit in at all though, but we were far enough from them to not be much of an eyesore. Crowd was mainly touristy and ran the gamut of 20-something college kids ordering shots to old couples resting their bones. With my backpack, camera and notebook, I didn’t seem too out of place here.

After sitting there long enough to take in the surroundings but too long to get served fast enough, I got up and headed towards the bar when the waitress came out of her rabbit hole and took our order. She didn’t seem too have too much Beer savvy, because I asked her who brewed the one Beer I’ve never heard of on the menu, and she had to go to the bar and ask. Turns out it was a local (El toro IPA), so I went for it. The rest of the menu was mainly macros, stealth-macros like Blue Moon, and the larger micros you can find just about everywhere else in town, so selection was sort of a small let-down, even for a guy with very limited west coast exposure. Minou went for a cider, which was one of those UK imports. I think it was Strongbow. Our pints finally arrived, and they were fine, I was a bit worried that a relatively obscure Beer would have tasted a bit stale, but it didn’t. We also ordered a few oysters and a shrimp cocktail, which were acceptable, if a bit pricey (so were the pints).

In hindsight my overall feeling about Jack’s is kind of lukewarm. Compared to most places I’ve been to around town, it’s clearly sub-par, but it was still my first watering hole on my trip (the airport bar doesn’t count), so I can’t totally bash it. I’d pin this down as a “it’s better than nothing, so have a Beer here while the wife is shopping” kind of place.

Visited Sep2006

Photo of SwillinBrew
3.14/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Well, i've been going here for quite awhile because when i come to SF, my company puts me in the Argonaut hotel which is next door (quite nice for the record)

The atomosphere is nothing to write home about, but it's not bad. If you walk in from the shore side, you have to go in, turn right then a quick left to the bar which is on the right hand side. Somewhat long with about 75 brews on tap. (I had some Chimary, El Toro IPA - which I wouldnt get again, Anchor Foghorn - mm mm good and a Rogue Dead Guy - for some reason, it's really extra tasty here)

You can get all the macros and popular micros on tap here. Not really any special selections, but at least you can count on a solid micro to drink. The service seems to be a bit lacking bordering on the "they just dont care" attitude.

This bar has potential but i'm going to call it a micro dive bar. I would not go out of my way to come here, but hey, if you are in the area and need a good beer fix, then stop by because you'll be sure to find something you like.

Photo of blgianbeer
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I recently hit this bar during a beer tour of the Bay Area. They have a good selection of micros including many local brews. That being said, when compared to other places in the Bay Area, this is a pretty lame place to drink. The beers were on the expensive side and the atmosphere leaves much to be desired. This area of SF is very tourist-y, so don't expect much local flavor.

If you're somehow stranded in the Wharf area and need a feew good micros, it's probably worth the stop. You could do worse.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.01/5  rDev -17.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Huge bar in a beautiful brick building near the waterfront. Dark and cozy. Average staff. No food as far as I could tell. Just meters from the tourist hell that is Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf. Makes for a great escape.

Jack’s is one of those bars with a ton of taps that I’d just rather trade for a quaint café with 4 really great taps and a solid bottle list. Sure Jack’s has 80 taps but a third are macro or nearly macro, and almost all of the rest are tame to flat out boring. The best beer on tap was Racer 5 and I could be content to drink that all day but I was here to try new things and when a BA from the Midwest goes to a bar in San Francisco with 80 taps and can’t find anything new to try it’s a problem. I’d recommend this bar for newer beer enthusiasts with a lot of ground to cover in basic styles and fairly common craft brews. It just wasn’t the right place for me.

Photo of beckerboots
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This was our first stop on our four day trip to the Bay area. We had some time to kill before checking in to our hotel so we decided to walk down past the tourist traps to Jack Famous Cannery Bar. My wife gave me the "three pints or 45 minutes" speech so my beer management skills were put to the test. The place is huge; seems to go on forever. We sat next to the very cozy fireplace. The waitress was somewhat cordial, however it was apparent that she was on the last stint of her shift and was solely interested in taking our order and receiving her gratuity. The menu was limited, with standard pub fare. The tap list was fairly extensive with California micros being the primary focus. We all ordered the hamburger platter. Food was certainly adequate but not exceptional. I ordered a Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, an El Toro Oatmeal Stout, and then threw the young waitress for a loop by ordering a Shipyard Lager (which necessitated a keg change). Three pints, one hamburger and forty two minutes later we were on the road. Now I'm making an asumption that in this area of San Francisco, tourists would be a primary source of revenue. Perhaps a better menu and a little less indifference would go along way in having them stay more then forty two minutes.

Photo of rdrummer
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Jack's was my first beer stop in San Francisco. It is in the Cannery Row shopping complex a stone's throw from Fisherman's Wharf. The place is large with a huge bar with 80 or 81 taps, depending on which sign you read, a large dining area, and a large patio dining area outdoors. It was too cold for the outdoors so everyone was inside.

The beer selection was very good with a good mix of CA microbrews, Belgians, German beers, and some macros. The Belgians were priced really high so I avoided them, but the CA beers, including Drake's, Bear Republic, Anchor, Russian River, Stone, and AleSmith, providing plenty of choices. My favorite beer here was the Anchor Old Foghorn.

The service was good. The barmaid was friendly and knowledgeable. The food looked and smelled good, but I was heading for dinner later so I didn't get a chance to try it.

Definitely worth a visit when in the Fisherman's Wharf area.

Photo of rowew
2.6/5  rDev -28.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4

We actually visited here twice - once in the late afternoon, and once near closing time. There was live music playing in the outdoor plaza, so we grabbed a patio seat (it wasn't very busy), listened to music, and waited for the waitress. And waited. And waited. It wasn't like she didn't see us - she passed in our vicinity many times, but made sure to never make eye contact. Then I tried going to the bar - but every time I would try and catch the bartenders attention he would duck in back. Finally, after over half an hour, despite the nice atmosphere and the good beer list we went elsewhere. I have never seen such a disgusting excuse for service. Despite this horrible experience we ended up back here later in the evening because it was the only bar in the area open. This time we sat at the bar (we were the only ones there), and got served fairly quickly. The server was abrupt, but at least he was there this time. This is a nice location, great beer list, but the service has ensured I will look elsewhere unless there are no other choices.

Photo of slyke
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Jack's was the first place I visited after checking in to my Fisherman's Wharf hotel. It was time for a late lunch and after an hour waiting for the rental car, I was thirsty too. The family was meeting up for a long weekend in San Francisco and we had a great time! My paternal grandfather ran a local 3.2 tavern until I was 11, so the whole family is at home in a bar. Dark wood paneling and painted tin ceiling with a large fireplace was a great atmosphere in which to get my first beer in San Francisco. The food was typical bar and grill fare, but of better quality. My parents thought it was the best clam chowder they'd ever had. I had no complaints about my chicken sandwich and fries. We sampled the taps, Dad with the Anchor Steam, Brother with the Speakeasy IPA, and me with the Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA and the El Toro Oatmeal Stout. I'd recommend Jack's Cannery Bar to anyone who finds themselves in Fisherman's Wharf.

Photo of Troyone
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Located in an old historic brick building on the opposite side of Leavenworth St. from the Warf area this is a convenient place for tourist. There are many European beers of their eighty or so taps. Unfortunately the European tourist I met there were not interested in European beers and wanted some local stuff (see selection below). There was some live ebtertainment that was pretty good, a guitar player singing. Spacious with different areas to relax.

The wood bar is long with wood stools, tables, and chairs. Stainless steel taps and some were stained? Did not see a kitchen or even notice anyone eating. Restroom was clean.

The first server a guy was alright, when he left a female bartender took over and was not as hospitable but adequate.

Aside from Racer 5, Poppy Jasper, and an ACME beer the local selection did not really represent all of Northern Cal and no cask (handpump). In fact I suggested to some tourist from Europe, who liked the three I mentioned and wanted local beer, to go to Magnolias. There was nothing from Russian River, Magnolias, and only the standard selections from SN, Lagunitas, etc... Many European beers but their selection did not really appealed to me. Definitely not a good selection of local Stouts.

Did not see a menu.

expensive

Photo of brewandbbq
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A regular stop in SF, down in Fishermans wharf, is Jack's bar. An oasis in a tourist trap.
Large interior with dark stained raised panel walls and 2 different bars.
The larger bar is on the right, as you head back.
Very good selection of draft, about half being "imports" and old standbys, and half local good stuff.
We had a New Belgium Beer De Mars (reportedly a Jack's exclusive in SF), and one of my faves, El Toro IPA-good as ever too.
Barkeep was attentive, but not friendly -by any means.
Would have liked to have hung out for an Anchor Bock or a Racer 5, but we were off to wait for the trolley.
Didn't have food, or look at the menu.
Recommended.

Photo of Clembo1957
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I visited Jack's several times during my visit to San Francisco. The selection of beers is large ranging from American to British (i personally wouldn't drink Bass or Newcastle Brown here in the UK!). One of my visits was on Superbowl Sunday so the atmosphere was very good, other times the bar can be virtually deserted.

The clientele range from regulars to befuddled tourists seeking refuge from Fisherman's Wharf. I was pleased to see one of the barmaids directing tourists to local brews like Anchor. Other visits the service at the bar is not impressive and can be slow. I sampled Anchor Foghorn 9.0% and only sold in half's!

Photo of StevieW
4/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Right down the road from the Steelhead place in Fisherman's Wharf area. Dark, dingy wood atmosphere. Very welcoming fireplace and overstuffed couches and chairs as well. Long, Long wooden bar on the right as we entered. Seemingly endless amount of taps, maybe 60-70 running the length of the bar. Overwhelming to a Floridian on vacation in the big city. I had the El Toro Oatmeal Stout and 21st Amendment IPA. The bar service was sufficient, nothing to complain about. I really like the atmosphere and selection. Seemed like a place for locals to me. Worth a try.

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Jack's Cannery Bar in San Francisco, CA
84 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.