FAQ

Can I book out The Interval for a private party?

The Interval is available for semi-private and limited fully private events. See our event rental page for all the information. Sorry, at this time we generally cannot accommodate single table reservations, but our rentals do include the small room in the back that is great for up to 10 people.

Why do you sometimes have a doorman?

Our rated occupancy is for just 49 people and it turns out that is also a very nice amount of people in our small space. More than that would require longer waits for drinks and less places for everyone to sit. Our goal is for all our customers to have a great experience once they are inside, sometimes that means a short wait outside.

Most of the time we are open we have plenty of capacity, so if you want to be sure your group can get in, check our front page for event closures, and make plans to come outside of our busiest times (Friday and Saturday night 6-10pm). If you come on a busy night it may take a little while for your whole group to get in, especially if they show up at different times. If you have booked an event with us, we count that number in our headcount so you will be given priority, but if more people show up to your event than expected, some may have to wait in line.

Why do some of the drinks take longer at The Interval than others?

It is our goal to get you drinks as fast as we possibly can without compromising quality. However our menu is made up of historically accurate and in some cases complicated recipes that can take little while to make. We also stir all our drinks with thermometers to serve your drink at the best temperature. We do offer pre-batched and draught cocktails that we can get out to you right away if you want something to get your group started.

Why not add more bartenders?

Our bar only has room for two bartending stations as we use the rest of the room for space for our customers. So unfortunately we don’t have other places for a bartender to work. But please do note that some of our non bartending staff can help you with beer, wine snacks and our pre-batched drinks.

Why are there no sporting events on the screens and the music is so quiet?

We built The Interval as a place to have great conversations. We worked with our founding board member Brian Eno and Meyer Sound to come up with a sound system and types of music that would promote, rather than impede conversations.

Does The Interval serve food?

While we offer a few light snacks made by wonderful local kitchens, The Interval does not have a kitchen to make meals. We are next door to Greens restaurant which not only has dining options, but also offers food during the day along with a few other lunch style cafes in building B and C here in Fort Mason. On summer Friday nights Off The Grid hosts a large food truck event right outside in our lot.

Can I bring in outside food?

If you are ordering beverages at The Interval you are welcome to bring in a bite to eat. Because of our limited space and staff, we ask that you clean up whatever you bring in. There are cans outside where you can put any trash. If you want to set out a lot of food or have a birthday cake, etc, we ask that you contact our event rentals so that we can accommodate you.

A group of 12 of us are planning to meet at The Interval—will that be a problem?

During most of our hours this can be fine, but on a busy Friday or Saturday night, please let your group know that it may take a while to get everyone in. Your best shot for a group like this aside from an event rental would be to come on less busy times. We start serving our full cocktail menu at 5pm on weekdays and we usually have plenty of room then. Also note that sometimes there are large events going on at Fort Mason that even surprise us with how busy we can be on a random evening.

What is The Long Now Foundation and how is it connected to The Interval?

The Long Now Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking and responsibility. The Interval serves as the Foundation’s headquarters, a showcase for Long Now projects, and directly furthers its mission. As a café, bar, library, museum, and event space, The Interval is a gathering place meant to inspire conversations about long-term thinking. You can learn about all of Long Now’s projects in our space including prototypes of the 10,000 Year Clock, our Rosetta Disk, the de-extinction work of Revive & Restore, as well as PanLex and Long Bets.

What are the bottles on the ceiling?

Each bottle represents one of The Interval’s generous donors. They’re filled with exclusive spirits made for us by St. George Spirits in Alameda. Donors can reserve a bottle for a $1500 donation (which is almost entirely tax-deductible). More than 100 bottle donors made their gift to The Interval as part of our “brickstarter” fundraising campaign which was essential to building our space. Others have donated more recently, and their support helps us produce unique, long-term thinking talks and other events in our space. The custom St. George Spirits are not on our regular menu, but visitors to The Interval can purchase a tasting of all three for $50, which you can deduct from the price of your bottle if you choose to purchase one.

What are all the books about?

The books are part of an ongoing crowd-sourced collection that we call the Manual for Civilization: a library that contains the knowledge that is needed to sustain or even restart civilization. When it’s complete, our library will contain over 3,000 books, completely filling The Interval’s shelves. Our library is crowd-sourced: Long Now members, donors, and invited experts have suggested books for inclusion. We’re also building a digital version of the Manual in partnership with the Internet Archive who will scan all the books that are not yet online and make them all available as a special collection in the Archive.