New “Virgil’s Sea Room” to Open in Former Naps III Bar on Mission Street




Friends and neighbors, we may be at a tipping point. The density of fine drinking establishments along Mission Street between 29th and Precita has reached such critical mass that we may have a full-fledged Cocktail Zone on our hands. Or at least a proper Nightlife District.

Consider: This drinky region of Bernal Heights and La Lengua can already lay proud claim to Rock Bar, Iron and Gold, The Royal Cuckoo, The Knockout, and El Rio. Now comes word that the new owners of the former Naps III space, on Mission at the intersection with Precita, plan to reopen soon with an evocative new name and a dashing new look.

The new bar will  be called Virgil’s Sea Room, and it is expected to open in the next few weeks. Here’s how it was described to us:

We are excited for Virgil’s Sea Room to become a part of the Bernal community and are honored to be taking over such a classic neighborhood space – the former Naps III. Most of us are long-time Mission residents and we are looking forward to opening a fantastic neighborhood bar. There are three partners and all of us belong to different but overlapping communities. We are aiming for a bar that truly reflects that, a space that is comfortable, friendly and welcoming for all walks of life: queer, straight, newly arrived or old school local – this is your spot.

Lila Thirkield is the owner and operator of The Lexington Club, which she started 16 years ago. She is also a community organizer and long time Mission resident.

Gillian Fitzgerald, originally from Ireland, was most recently found gratifying the masses with her delicious concoctions at Nickies in the Lower Haight, a busy neighborhood staple.

Tom Temprano is a co-founder and DJ of the soul party Hard French, he is also a community activist and President of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.

Transformed by the keen eye of design and vintage guru David Marks of, Virgil’s is meant to convey a sense of comfort and warmth that comes from features like the existing ornate wallpaper (found underneath all the beer posters!) and the expertly sourced vintage furniture and fixtures. With a focus on bringing people together, Virgil’s has a number of seating areas and cozy nooks set aside for your next visit.

Virgil’s Sea Room will feature delicious drinks that can be enjoyed by a cocktail enthusiast or a vodka soda drinker, and will run the gamut from a reimagined Sazerac to a Mojito. Our goal is to provide quality libations for all tastes at a reasonable price.

Sounds  promising. Also, personal bonus: Virgil’s Sea Room is close enough to my house that I could crawl home. Which I may need to do, at some point. Hopefully.

PHOTOS: Top, Courtesy of Virgil’s Sea Room. Below, new co-owner Gillian Fitzgerald, photographed by Telstar Logistics during a recent visit to El Rio, right next door.

7 thoughts on “New “Virgil’s Sea Room” to Open in Former Naps III Bar on Mission Street

      • If the devil’s in the way,
        We’ll roll it over him.
        And we’ll all hang on behind.

        So awesome! I can almost see the waves lapping up on La Lengua Pier (as I often imagine in the FiDi, but at least those were once real…)

        As for the new joint, any maritime-themed watering hole with a queer pedigree like that has got my tab!

        Just a bit unclear how Naps III wasn’t part of a Cocktail Zone already? Or at least a Nightlife District? (I also think 3300 Club was overlooked in the list, but it was just a quick summary I imagine.)

        Here’s to a great gin fizz, Negroni, Rob Roy, and yes… Probably a bit early to be thinking about drinking, eh?

  1. We do have an embarrassment of riches, from the heavenly St. Mary’s to the earthy Iron and Gold. We should have a contest to make the most artistic image by connecting the dots between local drinking establishments on a map.

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