Back Alley Chic

John Colins at 90 Natoma was always synonymous with the south of Market happy hour. Everyday at five o’clock, SOMA professionals would bounce down the alley to that familiar old brick façade, breeze through the curtain and get on with the good times. These were good times indeed, but these days are over. John Colins of 90 Natoma is closed, but fear not this story is just beginning. Bar veterans John Giuffre and Colin O’Malley have moved their casually cool outpost just a few blocks away. The John Colins crew took all their charm, all their skill and did not look back.

From the outside the new J.C. is decidedly understated. Nestled in at 138 Minna St., black rope and the familiar doorman are all that give this new spot away. Walk through the doors and one is greeted with that familiar John Colins vibe. Exposed brick, dark wood and deep chocolate leather surround you while the DJ beckons you in with a mix of hip hop, funk and sweet soul. Weighing in at twice the size of theold location, John Colins has grown. Dramatically high ceilings and low lighting make the space cavernous but intimate in the same stroke. The interior appears grand in a subtle way. Massive oil paintings inspired by SF street culture look down on the crowd as they sip, swill and carry on. John Colins may have left its past a few blocks away, but the good times are intact.

Co-owner John Giuffre concocts numerous cocktails to celebrate the seasons. His Brazilian takes inspiration from the country’s vibrant nightlife. Clean and refreshing, this libation takes a South American classic to a new level.

-Gabriel Cothes
Photography by Meggy Wang