“The Hotsy Totsy has fab mixed drinks and the pyramid of artisanal gins in the middle of the wall is a veritable shrine to gin.” — Nosh reader
For as long as we can remember, the colorful crisscross neon sign over The Hotsy Totsy Club has shone like a beacon for the thirsty on San Pablo Avenue in Albany. The bar has been in operation since 1939; in the last few years it has transformed into a watering hole that is at once a neighborhood dive and a cocktail destination. During daylight and early evening hours, you can find Albany residents sipping on draft PBR and gossiping with the bartenders. Later, slews of younger folks drop in for a house-carbonated “Bottled Bitter Rivers” (Citadelle gin, aperol, rhubarb bitters, grapefruit, lime juice) or a smoky “Everett and Jones” (pine smoked vermouth, orchard peach liqueur, Redemption bourbon, lemon juice, gum syrup). Ever-changing cocktail specials are almost always a good choice for the adventurous. We like to bring a plate of El Autlense tacos (see dinner listings) into the bar for dinner and revel in the weirdness while watching the “transgressive” 1970s B-movies always on the television. The Hotsy Totsy Club is at 601 San Pablo Ave. (at Garfield), Albany.