Styled after classic Irish and British pubs—beloved as low-key spots to sit and share a drink with your mates—The Snug lives up to its name with all the vibes of a neighborhood bar and an elevated take on pub grub and cocktails.
Open just two weeks, the owners of The Snug have plenty of bragging rights—they brought a relaxed yet refined locals spot to Fillmore Street, and are serving high-quality, innovative food and delish drinks. Plus, no hefty prices promises the place is already packed.
The Snug is a spot for first dates, catching up with old friends, meeting up with coworkers, or even a catch-up with your parents. And snugness abounds, with a glowing back-lit bar and a second-story balcony that overlooks the action. The Snug is a collaborative project from four industry guys—Shane Matthews, Jacob Racusin, Zack Schwab, and Brian Shin—who’ve worked at such cocktail havens as Alembic, The Monk’s Kettle and Jeffrey in NYC.
On the food side, Shin, who’s done stints at Benu and In Situ, is even incorporating a tandoor oven left behind by the former occupant, the Indian restaurant Mehfil, to create fresh takes on naan—such as with sesame and shiitake hummus. Expect classic bar eats with a twist like Korean fried chicken wings, crispy tater tots with horseradish sour cream, and even a poke dish with ginger and a sweet chili sauce.
Inside The Snug on Fillmore Street
The Yellow Rose cocktail at The Snug is equal parts beautiful and delicious, mixing vodka, bee pollen, honeycomb, and lemon then embellishing with a version of its namesake.
For bar snacks, definitely dive into the crispy tater tots served with horseradish sour cream and a sprinkling of bacon bits and chives for a flavor reminiscent of a deconstructed baked potato.
For the small plates portion of the menu, you’ll first notice the Korean fried chicken wings. These sticky bad boys are doused in a generous seasoning of garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.
Utilizing the tandoor oven, Shin created a dish of sesame naan paired with an earthy shiitake hummus, and topped with a sprinkling of sleek ash and roasted garlic.
The poke dish is also worth sampling, with cubes of lean, mild fluke fish, ginger, sesame, and a marinade of spicy-sweet red chili pepper sauce.
By now you’ve reached the “large plates” section of The Snug menu and there’s one must-make decision here. Walking away from this meal, the Bodega burger is hands-down the best thing on this menu. Instead of your usual ground-beef patty, they use juicy slices of flank steak topped with shredded lettuce (as it should be), slices of plump tomato, shavings of white onion, melted cheese and a Thousand Island-esque special sauce. The whole thing ends up being a bit messy, but the good meaty-juicy-drippy kind of unkempt you’ll still find yourself wanting to the lick the plate clean for.
The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but you’ll find plenty of seating and tables—especially in the elevated nook nestled above the main bar area that overlooks the rest of the restaurant.
Keep an eye out for the 18 taps situated behind the long bar, featuring a curated selection of wine, beer, and cider.
Brass lighting overhangs rustic tables for a relaxed feel at The Snug.
Racusin—who previously managed the bar at Alembic—has created a crafty cocktail menu with interesting elements like cactus, Chinese plum, aloe vera, and curry leaf; and mixing things up by offering some cocktails on draft or nitro draft.
The bar program uses many ingredients made in-house such as shiitake-infused Japanese whisky or house-blended amaro.
The bar is bustling with happy patrons sipping on an array of strong and tasty drinks.