September 27, 2021

Inside SF’s iconic Top of the Mark lounge

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As San Francisco starts to see more tourists coming back into the city, restaurants and bars are looking for ways to attract locals back inside.

One such spot is the historic top of the mark bar located at International Mark Hopkins Hotel.

It’s filled with war time history and hopes to entice more visitors with a new menu.

“When people are comfortable and relaxed they’re gonna enjoy themselves,” said general manager Michael Pace.

Located at the very top of the International Mark Hopkins Hotel, appropriately named Top of the Mark has stayed in tip top shape.

“We switched out all our filters with hepa filters.”

A fixture for eight decades – the lounge bar offers views like no other. And post pandemic, the hidden gem is looking to entice more visitors to sip and experience all it has to offer.

“Were changing it up a bit, we have vodka expressions we’re rolling out today, pairing local chocolates with local infused vodkas.”

“We’re changing up the music, we’re trying to appeal to a broader audience, even on a quintessentially foggy San Francisco day, the atmosphere is inviting,” and general manager Michael Pace wants to remind locals it’s still here.

‘We’re not just a tourist destination…we have a great history, heritage, and great stories all the way back to 1926.”

There’s an area called the Weepers Corner, and back during World War II women would gather there to watch as their men would sale off from the bay back to war.

And it’s not the only tie to history top of the mark still honors.

One of the traditions that started during the wars was the squadron bottles. Military personnel would leave a bottle with the bartender and if they were heading out, they’d leave the bottle and say if someone from their squadron comes by, give them a drink on me.

After the World War, it went away but back in 2009 we restarted it.. and we now have over 80 bottles that people have dedicated.

“It’s very moving. It’s a beautiful experience and its a way to show respect to our service-members.”

Top of the Mark is usually closed on Sunday’s, but it is open on the Fourth of July until 11:00 p.m.