A Hit: Visit The Yard at Mission Rock
Website:The Yard at Mission Rock
BART Station:Embarcadero (SF)
Transfer to:Muni Metro N-Judah or T-Third lines
All photos by Eric Londgren Photography.
Tackling the art of carefully curated pre-game carousing, The Yard at Mission Rock is like artisanal tailgating. Off the beaten Embarcadero path and the usual crowded eateries clinging to Oracle Park on King Street, this open-air hub that opened last April brims with craft beer, popup eats, and cornhole-fueled socializing to keep your glass — pint glass, of course — more than half full.
Seeking breathtaking views of the Bay and the ballpark? Take BART to Embarcadero Station and hop on a Muni line (N or T) to Oracle Ballpark. Head down 3rd Street and you’ll arrive at this popup village nestled behind the Giants stadium in Oracle Park’s Parking Lot A at Terry Francois Boulevard. There, vendors operate out of old shipping containers as a nod to the surrounding Port of San Francisco waterfront. Picnic tables beneath stringed lights encourage a communal beer garden atmosphere.
With the full ballpark serving as backdrop, what’s on tap are 16 handles at the Anchor Steam Beer Garden — all to cleanse the palate for the bites on hand. Belcampo Meat Company carves organic “humane” meats in one courtyard, while Crêperie Saint-Germaine flips savory and sweet stuffed crêpes (along with sandwiches, sangria, and mimosas).
Plus, it’s the first time Anchor Brewing Company has had a public place to showcase its entire selection of beers. Heads up to beer aficionados: About four rotating beers are featured as Yard-series pours that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.
“Not only do we have our classic brews that have been with us for decades, but we're also putting out fun new beers, Zymaster-series, and special Yard-series beers that can't be found anywhere else,” said Jon Morales, bar manager and certified cicerone at the helm of the Anchor beer garden.
Paired with the eating and drinking is an old-school video arcade on the premises — Pac-Man, anyone? — and a Street Soccer USA community soccer park hosting adult and youth matches. Expect a mix of locals and tourists.
“When the Giants are in town we see many walks of life and different colored jerseys,” Morales observed. “But on any given day we see many of the same faces of people that live or work around the Mission Rock area.”
During games, the event space extends its fences to spill the party out into the street even further. Still, game day or not, The Yard is abuzz as a burgeoning spot where locals are now converging to play at its welcome alternative to the usual orange-and-black debauchery. With free big-screen movie nights, a CUESA monthly Sunday farmers’ market monthly, live music and art tours, The Yard has evolved into a multi-faceted forum where thoughtful communal exchanges can find a home.
“I think the most exciting thing about working at The Yard is being part of a community project that came to be in a short amount of time,” Morales enthused. “Very quickly a section of a parking lot has become an actual community of people, beer, plants and food. It's pretty great.”
Anchor Beer Garden Bar Manager Jon Morales’ Top 5 Tips For Visiting The Yard
1. Try the Brotherhood Steam and the Mango Wheat Beer on tap at the Anchor Beer Garden.
2. Eat the Belcampo beef tartare cone, the Double Fast Burger, and sweet potato fries. Also, surprise, the veggie burger is burgerlicious!
3. Experience the adult soccer league at the Street Soccer USA Park.
4. Come for Firkin Fridays the last Friday of every month at the Beer Garden to try a special one-of-a-kind beer that’s not on the menu.
5. Check the events calendar for live music and cornhole tournaments.