Castro’s Mix thrives on neighborhood-bar vibes

Bartender Ryan Sherman, above, talks with Tea Smith at the Mix in S.F. Left: Customers have drinks in a festive atmosphere. Photo: John Storey, Special To The Chronicle

The Mix looks especially festive this time of year. Inside the Castro district bar, there are Christmas stockings affixed behind the pool table, and hanging mobiles that read “Ho Ho Ho.” The enclosed patio twinkles with string lights, ceiling ornaments, illuminated snowmen.

The effect of these Christmas decorations is that you feel like you’re in the tricked-out basement of your parents’ holiday-possessed neighbor — all the more so since the back patio of the Mix really does seem to have been carved out from the garage of an old white Victorian.

It’s a time of year when the homeyness of the Mix feels particularly manifest. But to many of its regulars, the Mix is a home all year long.

>> Read More