The bar’s current location was once part of the iconic Iron Horse Restaurant, which opened back in 1954. This historic spot which used to host the Hollywood elite in the ’60s, and is now owned by Angela Voloshyna, who also owns the nearby Topsy’s and Tenderloin’s Playland. While the nights are all about throwback cocktails and candle light, daylight visitors get to enjoy a coffee service, from 7:30am-5pm, in cups which read: “Coffee that doesn’t suck.”
We caught up with Voloshyna and chatted about bringing the historic location into modern-day San Francisco.
What was behind your decision to open a small bar after already owning another bar and a club?
A while back I used to bartend at a little bar. I really liked the atmosphere at that place, we had a lot of regulars, everyone knew each other. I was thinking to myself that one day I would love to open a place like that. So, when I had the opportunity to buy the Iron Horse location I felt like my dream might come true! It’s very close to my other businesses and the price was right.
What made you pick the boutique-filled, hidden Maiden Lane for your location?
Maiden lane is two blocks away from one of my other businesses, so I felt like I knew the clientele in that area. Also, Maiden Lane is so unique and beautiful. It has no bars on the street and the specific location has a lot of great history. Back in the day, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe used to come to Iron Horse restaurant. I had a few couples stopping by and telling me how great that place was. So I want to bring that intimate, cozy, historic vibe back.
How do you innovate and attract customers in the age of mixology explosion?
Each customer is unique to us. I believe in talking and spending your time with each one of the customers and truly get to know them.
What’s your take on San Francisco’s nightlife? How did it change over the last decade?
I think SF has so much to offer. New restaurants and bars that open up are doing a really great job. Mixology changed our view of how cocktails should look and taste. I’m super excited to be in this industry. It’s changing and every day I’m learning something new.
Why did you decide to also have a coffee service?
A coffee business was already at the location. It did pretty well, so I thought I shouldn’t break what works.
25 Maiden Lane