When The Churchill debuted its open-air, shipping-container concept in September 2018, many Phoenicians mumbled to themselves, “It’s too fucking hot for this.” Craft cocktail bar Pobrecito was front (actually, back) and center, slushy booze and all. We braved the heat to check it out, endlessly searching for shade and basking underneath the glory of the enormous ceiling fan. But then Pobrecito closed less than a year later and left us wondering where we would find our next frozen watermelon margarita (and what might happen to that immaculate leafy wallpaper).
Enter So Far, So Good, Pobrecito’s replacement and one of The Churchill’s newest additions (alongside Bernie Kantak’s take on fast food, Commander Hamburger). At So Far, So Good, which opened on October 1, one can find sign language and hexagons and gooseberries — all paired with alcohol, and not in that order.
“Hexagons are really popular in nature for their efficiency, and we like efficiency,” says Sam Olguin. He’s The Churchill’s beverage director, and shook cocktails at Pobrecito prior to opening the new concept.
The purple lights illuminating the new cocktail bar lured us in, and we were glad we had already learned the name of the place, because we weren’t cool enough to have a sign-fluent friend along. “The sign spells SFSG,” a bartender confirmed. Awesome. We totally knew that.
A white hexagon-tiled backsplash emanates a clean look, with gold-framed mirrors and triangular light figures giving the bar some edge. Simple wooden shelves hold spirits, glassware, and flickering tea light candles in frosted votive containers.
With his sophisticated bartender swag (how do they pour from so far away?), Olguin crafted us a house shot, which goes for $5 and changes regularly. This one was made of vodka, honey, and passionfruit, and tasted like a quick glimmer of Bali (or a tropical island of your choosing).
The soon-to-be infamous Fuck Nazis is topped with a gooseberry.
Naturally, the Fuck Nazis cocktail grabbed our attention. “It was named after the ‘okay’ hand sign because it apparently became a hate symbol,” Olguin says. “And it happens to be our most popular drink.” Fuck Nazis is made of equal parts Tanqueray No. Ten Gin and Cocchi Americano — a citrusy Italian apertif — and adorned with a gooseberry.
“We just bought 65 cases of gooseberries so that we can continue to make this drink for another six months,” Olguin says, “and they weren’t cheap.” Drinks change regularly here, according to in-season fruits and veggies and how bartenders are feeling, so don’t get married to anything.
Beer is on the menu, too — or “16 Oz Crispy Ones.” Go for anything from PBR to Modern Times Black House, an oatmeal coffee stout.
We were also intrigued by the beverage choice of a tipsy 20-something. This One Has Whiskey has … whiskey … with flavors of tart plum, nutty oak, and sesame — all topped with a chocolate-filled wafer. Drinks with built-in snacks definitely deserve extra points (cue the insane Bloody Mary trend where a full meal is placed atop your tomato juice and vodka).
We played Mad Libs directly from the menu and wondered about the wallpaper some more. Was it enjoying a new heyday elsewhere, or did it get thrown into the rubble with the rest of Pobrecito? We placed our drinks under the spotlight and took pictures like eager tourists, because even drinks deserve to be Instafamous sometimes.
But we recommend you have a look at the downtown Phoenix newcomer for yourself. Snag a stool at the bar or a high top, but don’t fall into the trap of asking how business is going so far — we did, and guess what? So far, so good.
So Far, So Good.
901 North First Street;
Hours: 6 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday; 6 p.m. to midnight or later Friday, noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday