In July 2021, Forest Street Station opened on the corner of California and—you guessed it—Forest Street. The place offers up a neighborhood bar feel but where everything is slightly elevated.
A screen in the corner announces brews on tap, including many local options, and wines behind the bar are surprisingly diverse and high-end for a place that doesn’t specialize in vino.
Upon walking in, don’t be surprised if it’s the owner greeting you. That’s just the kind of vibe you’re likely to find here. And it all feels pretty expected, until you pull up the cocktail list. Here, the owner did not skimp.
Sure, you can still get a classic G&T or whiskey and coke, but why would you when the menu is filled with craft options like the Midtown Mezcal Manhattan or the Forest St. Whiskey Sour?
Every cocktail is created with careful attention to detail. The smoky flavors of the mezcal peek through the sweet vermouth and orange bitters typical of a traditional Manhattan. And don’t forget the orange twist. Plus, the bar uses those big round ice cubes that up the ante on any cocktail regardless of where you’re sipping it.
The Forest St. Whiskey Sour is frothy and delightful, surprisingly easy to drink. The egg whites give the cocktail its texture while the 42 Mile (local) blended bourbon, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup provide the kick. A sucker for details, Angostura’s bitters and a lemon twist finish the cocktail.
And while a whiskey sour may be a personal favorite, the bartender also creates off-menu specials, including a tequila sour. The same flavors are present but the cocktail ends up even more refreshing when made with a lighter spirit—which could be dangerous if you order more than one.
From the canned offerings to the on-tap brews and even the craft cocktails, locality is a clear denominator. Forest Street, a locally owned establishment, supports other local creators and purveyors in the area by serving their alcohol at the bar. The Depot, 10 Torr and Frey Ranch are just a few of the neighborhood names you’ll recognize.
Behind the bar, large TVs play whatever game you’d like to enjoy and board games are available for those who want to stay and hang for a while. A seat at the bar—with purse hangers, ladies! —is prime real estate, but there are also several high-top tables open to guests.
While the craft cocktails are the most impressive part of the bar, there is no shortage of classic offerings. Canned cocktails and ciders are also available so whether you want to wet your whistle with a Mill St. Mule (made with 10 Torr vodka) or a High Noon, the bartenders have you set.