Note: This is the first of (hopefully) many posts introducing our readers to cocktail spots in the San Francisco Bay Peninsula and South Bay. Good cocktails have reached us here in the
sticks suburbs and country and we encourage locals to try these places. If you are out of the bay area, you can still read about some great drinks and get some inspiration.
For many bay area residents, downtown Redwood City is probably not the first place they would look for a gastropub. And if you are curious, “gastropub” is a recent term to define a British-inspired pub that features high-end food and spirits. Gastropubs are not “bangers and mash” joints, but truly high-end restaurants and bars that feature local, artisinal foods and quality spirits. Gastropubs led Britain’s unlikely charge to the heights of international cuisine, so it is a treat to have a good gastropub in the heart of the peninsula.
And this brings us to Martin’s West in Redwood City. Established in 2009, Martin’s West is a true gastropub located in the historic Alhambra building, a refurbished old-time saloon and theater, first opened in 1896. The current space features tall ceilings, and exposed bricks and beams, giving it an eclectic, pub-inspired interior. The main room features a long wooden bar with plenty of stools, multiple tables, cozy booths and even an alcove by the front windows. Martin’s West is a welcoming spot that feels comfortable like a pub, but also polished, refined, and slightly metropolitan.
In addition to the comfortable, welcoming atmosphere, Martin’s West features Scottish-inspired food from local ingredients, a great beer selection and a deep menu of single-malt scotch. We are big fans of chef Michael Dotson’s food at Martin’s West (the house-made pickles and charcuterie are favorites), but we are frequent visitors for the cocktails. Led by GM/partner Moira Beveridge, Martin’s West regularly features 10-20 cocktails with a good mix of old-time and creative, modern drinks using fresh, seasonal ingredients. We posted on the popularity of the Moscow Mule, and Martin’s is known for their interpretations of the Manhattan, and these drinks are worth a visit. But we were lucky enough to visit Martin’s West just as they added a few new cocktails to the menu.