12 Favorite San Francisco Bars That Are Long Gone (and the Good News)

Old Bar Poster

San Francisco is a town that was built on bars. Saloons popped up almost as soon as settlers arrived, and a few of the originals (very few) have actually survived the constant change of our ever-changing city. The Saloon, The Old Ship Saloon, The Little Shamrock, Elixir, Vesuvio Cafe, Molloy’s in Colma and a few others are still standing (in one form or another), serving libations to lucky, thirsty patrons.

The poster above is proudly hung on the wall at Ray’s Hearth in the Richmond, and if you take a close look (click on the image to make it larger), you will notice how few of these drinking establishments are still in existence. Here is a (very personal) list of some of my favorite bars that ain’t around no more.

The Gold Dust Lounge
formerly at 247 Powell Street, near Geary, Union Square

This downtown classic was as much a Union Square mainstay as the cable cars that ran outside on Powell Street. Locals and tourists alike loved the friendly, funky vibe in the Gold Dust. The best prices on Irish Coffees, Margaritas and Champagne anywhere! Open at 6 am, it was a hangout for working class and business types. And they offered live music 7 nights a week. Over the years, visitors like Tony Bennett, Janis Joplin (owner Jimmy Bovis almost didn’t serve her!) and legendary columnist Herb Caen (who had his own stool) dropped in to join the fun. Powell Street hasn’t been the same since they were forced to shut the doors after nearly 47 years in existence. Change, for change’s sake.

The good news? For the original Powell Street location- none. They were contentiously, famously displaced for a chain women’s retail store. But, the Bovis Family has set up at a new location on Fisherman’s Wharf at 165 Jefferson Street. Same good drinks, live music, and a beautiful ambiance that mirrors the original.  http://www.golddustsf.com

Plaka Taverna
formerly at 1024 Kearny, near Broadway, North Beach

There was the Greek Taverna on Columbus, and then there was Plaka. The joint was loud and boisterous, the air filled with the sounds of classic Greek bouzouki music. As teens, we went to Plaka, with the owner’s daughter, Georgette. Sure, we were underage, but it was a different day, and Hey Natives! When did YOU first drink at a bar back in the day? Uh-huh. Anyways…we’d get a bit of liquid courage working, in the form of glasses of Ouzo, and we’d join the dancers circling the floor, having no idea what in the hell we were doing. But you jumped in the line, held hands and tried to follow the lead of the guy with the handkerchief in the traditional Kalamatiano dance. Then it was time for the amazing feats of wonder as a man lifted a fully-loaded table with his teeth and danced around the floor! And a few times, with a woman on the table!! Insanity! How did you show appreciation? By winging plates on the floor, or breaking full stacks of dishes, of course! The photo below is the late John “Papou” Stewart (Studianis), my daughter’s Grandfather-in-Law, in action! Plaka Taverna owner Gus Derdevanis held court over the wildest nightclub in North Beach.  Nothing like it this side of Athens.

The good news? None. The location is just another available office space. And there are no old-style, plate breaking Greek spots in the Bay Area (that I know of), much less in North Beach.


Jay’N Bee Club
2736- 20th Street at York, Mission District

The Jay’N Bee was a noisy neighborhood bar, and one of our regular lunch stops when I was a young moving man working for Bekins Van & Storage, out of the warehouse only a few blocks away at 20th and Alabama. The place was packed with lots of SFPD, with workers from the Mission District factories, and yes, with furniture movers, all sitting inside or on the patio, grubbing on the great Merchant’s Lunch. For a reasonable price, you got a multi-course Family-Style spread that included a complimentary bottle of vino- red or white- served in a Calistoga bottle! And yes, besides the wine, they poured a nice stiff drink at the bar.

The good news? After sitting vacant for years, new management reopened the joint and, by all accounts, seems to have captured some of the down-to-earth spirit of the original Jay’N Bee. Reasonable drinks, good pizza, patio open, nice down-to-earth vibe. No place to park your truck, though. Not at lunchtime.  But they aren’t open until 4 pm, so it’s a moot point.

JaynBee sign neon

formerly 5160 Mission Street, near Geneva, Outer Mission/Crocker Amazon

I grew up in the Excelsior District. My brothers and sister and I went to grammar school with all of the Balma kids at the now-defunct Corpus Christi Grammar School. Their dad, Gene Balma, ran the only bar I remember seeing my mother frequent regularly. Was Mom fond of the booze? Quite the contrary. Mrs. Cruz was as close to being a teetotaler as you would ever meet. But she went to Gene’s almost every week. For one reason: Gene made The. Best. Roast. Beef. Sandwich. Ever.  Seriously. We would park in the lot behind the Bank of America, use the back entrance of the bar, and Mom would have us sit patiently, among the incredible collection of figural liquor bottles that Gene had displayed, while he would cut fresh Sourdough hard rolls, dip them in his secret ingredient au jus, and pile on the thinly-shaved beef. Wrapped in wax paper, we almost couldn’t wait to get them home! Miss you, Mr. Balma! And those sandwiches…

The good news? None. It’s currently the office for a Pentecostal church.


Skip’s Tavern
formerly 453 Cortland Avenue, Bernal Heights

Bernal Heights was my hood for a short time, and as anyone familiar with the neighborhood knows, Cortland Avenue is the heart of Bernal. There were two bars up on the Hill: Wild Side West, an LGBT-friendly hangout on the South side of the street (still there and a great bar!), and Skip’s Tavern, on the other side. A Niner bar. A Giants bar. A working class bar. Period. To describe Skip’s as “untrendy” would be an understatement. But it was a cool live music venue. Bands played original Jazz, Rock and Blues sets 7 nights a week. I loved walking over from our house on the East slope, sitting at the big horseshoe-shaped bar, sucking down a cold one or three, and listening to the night’s jam session. Unfortunately, some ASCAP lawyers sued the owner, Bill, for copyright infringement, and he pulled the plug. “Too much trouble.” A another unique dive bar bit the dust.

The good news? Skip’s has been resurrected as The Lucky Horseshoe, and they have live music, so that’s a good thing.  http://www.luckyhorseshoebar.com


The Peer Inn
formerly at Pier 33, The Embarcadero

When I worked at KMEL in the late ’80’s, early 90’s, the morning show would gather to do our next-day show preparation at one place: a waterfront bar near the station called The Peer Inn. The Papadakis Family- George, Annie and son Gus- hosted you for a really nice lunch, liquid and otherwise. The Greek chef would occasionally yell “Skata!” at you through the open pass-through from the kitchen. Eddie and Babe, two Teamster forklift operators that worked on Pier 33, would come in for a bracer or three. Annie would eventually put out sweaty slices of salami and cheese as appetizers (yes, we’d eat them all), and bartenders Siobhan and Ava would pour nice stiff Embarcadero-worthy drinks. The bar dice would come out and it was noisy, dice cup slamming hours of Liars Dice, playing for dollars and rounds of drinks and bragging rites. And, sure, we even got a little show prep done.

The good news? Not sure. Butterfly, a Polynesian/Asian/Fusion restaurant is there. An interesting menu.  I haven’t tried it yet. And i’m pretty sure that the Teamsters from Pier 33 don’t have lunch there. http://www.butterflysf.com

Peer Inn

formerly at 64 Townsend Street at Colin P. Kelly (a WW2 hero), in what is now known as South Beach

Before there was an AT&T Park, and before there was the growth of high-rise high-rent apartments and the tony restaurants and drinking establishments that have popped up in the area, the Southeast end of the city was deeming with warehouses and trucks and industry that fed off the bustling port. San Francisco was the Maritime City and South Beach was filled with bars that cared to working-class longshoremen, Merchant Marines, stevedores and Teamsters that worked the ships and warehouses. I was a lumper (read: hired work horse) for a restaurant supply company and my driver (who was intimately familiar with every bar from North Beach to Dogpatch) introduced me to Bouncers. The walls were covered in souvenirs from all corners of the globe. Behind the bar was a framed poster of Daisy Duck, posed in a classic saloon-style reclining nude pose. I had an Oly for my coffee break, and ate some of the best salmon jerky made by a sailor who was three- no, check that- easily five sheets to the wind. Unforgettable.

The good news? None. More empty office space that a greedy property owner is ready to cash in on. Daisy would be ashamed.

Dailsy Duck nude

Hoffman’s Grill
formerly at 619 Market Street at 2nd, Downtown/Financial District

This was one of the many great hofbraus in The City (of which only two- Lefty O’Doul’s and Tommy’s Joynt remain). But Hoffman’s Grill was much more. The look of the place was Old San Francisco, with it’s tiled floors, brass lamps, stained glass, and an Old-World vibe that is hard to fake. The owner, who sometimes worked the bar, was from Bavaria, and it was a kick chatting with him and listening to the German accent. One visit, he brought out the best bar snack ever: oysters on a half shell! (Not sure if that was a regular thing, but it was memorable) Hoffman’s served good cold draft beer in those big round bottomed chalice-shaped glasses (like the giant neon one on top of the Hamm’s Brewery). And tiny bottles of the German digestif Underbred hung from the back bar, ready to settle your upset stomach. This brick-front classic was destroyed in the 1906 quake, rebuilt, and sadly, was closed in the mid-80’s to allow an office building to be built around it. The building exterior has landmark status, but that doesn’t bring back the turn-of-the-century feel inside a once-great saloon.

The good news? It depends. The brick facade is still there. It’s an outlet of San Francisco’s oldest bakery (and their cafe), Boudin. So, if you like a decent clam chowder in a really tasty Sourdough bowl, this is your spot. https://www.boudinbakery.com

Hoffman's Grill

Earthquake McGoon’s
formerly 630 Clay Street near Kearny, Financial District

Turk Murphy. Do you know the name? Well, music fans, Turk was the Greatest San Francisco Jazz Trombonist of All Time. Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t know of a lot of other trombonists besides Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey and New Orleans’s own Trombone Shorty, and I’ve never seen any of them. But back in the day, we had the giddy honor of watching, and listening to, and dancing to the great Turk Murphy and his Jazz Band at his club on Clay Street, Earthquake McGoon’s.  It was such an outstanding nightclub, with was seating upstairs along a rail that overlooked the dance floor. Turk’s band rollicking with the loud, happy sound of Dixieland Jazz up on the stage. Dancing, boozing, happiness. And as a bonus, downstairs was the Magic Cellar, where pro magicians dazzled you. I’m not a big “Magic” fan, and saw one of the best mind-reading tricks ever. Pisses me off, it was so good. Earthquake McGoon’s eventually moved to Pier 39 but that didn’t have the syncopation of the dancehall on Clay Street with the magic cellar.

The good news? None. Ironically, it’s a dialysis clinic.


Lost Weekend
formerly 1940 Taraval Street between 29th and 30th Avenues, The Sunset

There will always be a place in my heart for the Sunset District, the place where some of my favorite people were raised (my wife being one of them). And it’s also the former home to one of the most laugh-provoking pubs that I ever spent a dollar in: a place called The Lost Weekend. When you walked in the door, past that glass brick front, the first thing you noticed was what, at first glance, seemed to be a piano. Okay, it’s a piano bar, right? Wrong. That’s an ORGAN, and Lost Weekend was the best Organ Bar I’ve ever seen. The organist could play everything, with a playlist that was heavily laden with Standards, but he would not let a then-current Rock song stop his flow. And there was one particular Regular, an older lady, who probably had Opera training in her past, that would hit notes that shook the glassware. Lost Weekend offered good booze, live music like no other, a hang with the fine Sunset Natives, and the funniest night out ever. I miss hearing “White Room” on a Wurlitzer. But, maybe that’s just me.

The good news? It is currently the Parkside Tavern, a nice, friendly local’s hangout with good food and live music (but no organ sing-a-long. And that’s okay.) http://www.parksidetavernsf.com


formerly at 504 Broadway at Kearny, North Beach

Enrico Banducci was the father of the hippest trip in all of The City: the coffee house and bar that had his name above the sidewalk seating on Broadway, Enrico’s. He was like a Beatnik Cher. One name was enough to ID the beret-wearing barman. He founded another San Francisco legend, the hungry i on Jackson (where Enrico brought in up-and-coming talent like Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand, Bob Newhart, Lenny Bruce), and then decided to open The City’s first ever sidewalk cafe. A place so cool it was featured in one scene of, arguably, the coolest San Francisco movie ever, with the coolest star: “Bullitt” with Steve McQueen. We used to snag a table, and try to look cool. and spend an evening watching the parade pass by. The parade ain’t what it used to be.

The good news? None. Like Steve McQueen, only cool memories remain. It’s a sad empty hulk, a ghost of it’s hip heyday.


formerly at 71 Third Street at Market, South of the Slot (SoMa, for the uninitiated) 

Third Street was always Skid Row when I was growing up. But closer to Market were a couple of classic San Francisco saloons, hangouts for Newspaper men (specifically Examiner staff, due to the proximity of the Hearst Building, up on the corner. The Chronicle crew went the M & M Tavern on 5th and Howard- a whole ‘other story) One was Jerry & Johnny’s. The other? Breen’s, which had the most beautiful back bar. Big long bar, maybe the longest I’ve ever seen. The photo below doesn’t do it justice. Breen’s was also a decent Hofbrau. The bartenders and waiters wore white coats and ties. And they served Anchor Beer on tap, which was kind of a rarity, at least at bars I usually visited, which leaned towards Bud and Lucky Lager. But that bar. When Breen’s closed I believe that Henry Africa (Remember him? Of Fern Bar fame?) bought it. But I’m not sure where it eventually landed. Ripping that bar out is like ripping someone’s heart out. Another classic, replaced by….
The good news? None. It’s unrecognizable and the original building is gone, replaced by a monolithic extension of UC Berkeley.

10 San Francisco Restaurants That Should Have Never Been Closed

San Francisco is considered one of the greatest restaurant towns in the World. It seems that a new trendy restaurant pops up on almost a daily basis.  Thankfully, some of our classic dining establishments like  House of Prime Rib, Swan’s Oyster Depot, Tadich Grill and a handful of others survive and thrive. And others get rescued by “angel investors”- like Joe’s of Westlake (fingers crossed), Tosca Cafe, The Big 4, The Old Clam House and Schroeder’s.  But I sadly salute the passing of some of my all-time personal favorites.

Capp’s Corner
(formerly 1600 Powell at Green St., North Beach)
This Family-Style Italian dinner house was a go-to for good food at a good price, and always great company. So many memories at Capp’s with family and friends. Dinner always served with a tureen of really tasty Minestrone (“Pass that bowl down here, please!”), followed by a tasty kidney-bean laden house-dressed salad. The long time owners, the Ginellas, were recently booted, another victim of San Francisco’s latest landord eviction frenzy (shameful). Capp’s Corner is also notable (to me) for being the place I first met the late great Seamus Coyle, in his capacity as the greeter. No one could greet you like that grizzled Irishman! I miss Capp’s….and Seamus.

(formerly 2299 Powell St at Bay St., near Fisherman’s Wharf)
Over the years, Caesar’s was the destination for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries…Hell, ANY festive gathering. As teens, we would head to Caesar’s and settle in for a 7-course “pigout” (always trying, but never getting used to the pickled pig’s feet  appetizer. No problem, because there were 6 other plates with antipasti, cold cuts, marinated ceci and kidney beans). So loud and raucous that you had to shout your order at the waiter. The best Cioppino in town. Excellent bar!  A great, friendly, attentive staff, with owner Matteo actually cooking in the kitchen. And you were always greeted by the smiling face of the late, much-missed co-owner Luigi Romani.  R.I.P.

Empress of China
(formerly 838 Grant Avenue, Chinatown)
The classiest destination in Chinatown, the Empress had one of the most spectacular views of The City from both the dining room and the bar. You didn’t go to Empress of China for authentic Regional cuisine. The menu was very “Americanized”.  But it was a blast from the past, a step back into San Francisco, circa 1960. Check out the celeb photos on the wall. (“Hey, that’s Jack Soo from “Barney Miller”!) Order a perfect Mai Tai and imagine you’re in a scene from a Bond movie. Another classic bites the dust for more office space. Thanks, Progress…

Villa Romana
(formerly 731 Irving St., near 9th Avenue, Inner Sunset)
A very old school North Beach feel in the heart of the busy Inner Sunset, the Villa Romana dining room was decorated with grapevines and Chianti bottles hanging from the barrel-like ceiling. IMHO, there was one reason to make the trip to this Irving Street staple: Pizza.  If you missed Villa Romana, you missed one of the best pizzas in town. Period.

Villa Romana ext

Sam Wo
(formerly 813 Washington St., Chinatown)
The legend of Sam Wo lives on in the memories of anyone who had the pleasure of climbing the rickety stairs to the second or third floor dining areas, sitting at the funky, beat up, hodge podge of communal tables. If you were lucky, you were verbally abused by the legendary Edsel Ford Fung. Kitchen on the first floor? No problem. Dumb waiter that bowl of noodles up to the appropriate floor. Open until 3 am, Sam Wo had a BYOB policy (despite the hand-written sign that stated “No Booze”) that let us bring in whatever beer we could buy at the liquor store down the block (that had, let’s say, a very liberal policy on checking I.D.) The food? Whatever. The experience? Priceless.
Sam Wo

(formerly 498 Broadway at Kearny, North Beach)
The granddaddy of all Italian sit-at-the-counter Italian grills, Vanessi’s was another multi-course dining experience (do you notice a trend in my favorites?) There was nothing like sitting at the counter across from the exhibition grill, and feeling the heat blaze up every time the chef flopped a steak or chop on the wood-fueled fire. Savory sensory overload! Vanessa’s had a great red sauce, slathered on spaghetti and ravioli, offered as your main course or a side. In the late’s 80’s, they moved from Broadway to Nob Hill, and closed soon after. Thankfully, Original Joe’s (North Beach and Downtown San Jose), Marin Joe’s, and a handful of others keep up the tradition.

Gold Spike
(formerly 527 Columbus Ave., North Beach)
Guess what? Another Italian Family-Style Dinner House. (Hey, I like Italian food, served in mass quantities. Sue me.)  The things that stood out about Gold Spike were: 1. That uneven floor in the front dining area near the bar.  2. The dollar bills and business cards plastered all over the ceiling and walls. 3. The butteriest, garlicky garlic bread ever. Delicious! 4. HUGE portions. Pro-Eater Joey Chestnut would have difficulty not doggie bagging some of his meal. I went there for lunch with a group from work who complained that Gold Spike had “hair on it” (i.e. it was old).You think? It was over SEVENTY YEARS OLD at the time! They didn’t get it. You want pristine? I have the address of Olive Garden for you. As for me, (to paraphrase OG’s motto) a trip to Gold Spike was truly “when you’re there, you were family.”
Gold Spike

Johnson’s Tamale Grotto
(formerly Vicente at 24th Avenue, Sunset District)
Tamales were a big deal in The City, WAY before the Tamale Lady and her garbage bag full of delicious masa treats made the bar scene in the Mission. I mean, “Tuesday was Red’s Tamale Day”, fercryinoutloud! The Hot House at Playland was the favorite of many Locals (including my wife’s family). But we were a Johnson’s Tamale Grotto family. They had the original 20th and Mission location and one in Westlake.  But from the Sunset District location, we had Johnson’s deliver their deliciously sauced beans and rice (in the round ice-cream containers), enchiladas and cup tamales (made in coffee cups, if I remember correctly?), all wrapped in newspaper and tied with butcher string, to our front door. The sauce? Who knows what they put in it, but it was pure Mexican gravy magic.
Johnsons cup

The Shadows
(formerly 1349 Montgomery St. near the Filbert steps, Telegraph Hill)
The Shadows on Telegraph Hill was, to me, a “classy date night” destination. I couldn’t afford Ernie’s or Julius Castle (down the block), so when I did save a few bucks, I’d put on my Harris Tweed sports coat and a clip-on tie, and escort my girl (Lincoln High girl, Shirley) to The Shadows for some German-Swiss-Continental-American cuisine…and love. The dining room looked like my idea of what a Swiss chalet would look like (the closest I had ever been to Switzerland being the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland). The glorious panoramic view of the Bay from the bar was impressive. Their lentil soup (with refills!) was delicious. And I scored huge brownie points, even though the tie came off mid-meal.

(575 Commercial St near Montgomery, Financial District)
Paoli’s has a spot near and dear to my heart for one specific reason- their Happy Hour buffet.  I make the case that it was the most impressive array of freebie comestibles (with purchase of a cocktail of course) offered at any dining room bar anywhere, ever! It seemed like almost every item offered on the Dinner menu appeared on the massive buffet table near the bar (not true, but a great selection, nonetheless).  Another great date night restaurant, dark and moody, Paoli’s offered up a delicious mixed bag of Continental-American-Broiler dishes. But you had to have one at the bar and wander over to see what was happening at Happy Hour first. You might not make it to dinner.
What are your favorite, long-gone restaurants?  I’ll have my second list of 10 posted soon…

Welcome to San Francisco’s North Beach “Cheers” Bar!

When you visit The City, there are an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to your search for liquid refreshment.  This little bar on Green Street is a local’s favorite, and quickly becomes the go-to “find” of any visitor to San Francisco’s Little Italy, North Beach. Here is a video that (I hope) encapsulates everything I love about Gino & Carlo. Cent’anni!

Gino and Carlo  548 Green St.  San Francisco, CA 94113  (415) 421-0896

9 (check that) 14 San Francisco Bartenders You Need to Know (or Wish You Had Known)

Thrillist recently posted a list of “14 San Francisco Bartenders That You Need to Know.” That very subjective list (as all lists usually are) has bartenders from establishments that I either don’t know, or is “impossible to find” (a compliment, I guess), or that I won’t be visiting in the foreseeable future.  That all said, their list inspired me to make a list of “9 San Francisco Bartenders You Need to Know (or Wish You Could Have Known)”. (and, yes, my list is very subjective as well…)

Meredith Godfrey
BAR: Ray’s Hearth, Inner Richmond
One of the funniest people on Earth and a fantastic bartender, Meredith is the reason to make a trip to 11th and Geary. And she’ll herd your elephants if needed.
Frank Rossi
BAR: Gino & Carlo, North Beach
Now retired, Frank and his brother Donato left a legacy for everyone to enjoy, Italian or otherwise.  (Current partners Marco Rossi, Frank Rossi, Jr., Frank Colla, and Ron Minolli are no slouches, either!)
Seamus Coyle
BAR: Where DIDN’T he work?
The most surly, funny, incredible, profane and perfect example of Irishman ever to pour a drink. He is missed.
seamus coyle
Barbie Tice
BAR: The Bell Tower
The nicest bar owner ever. Ask her employees. And anyone that has had the pleasure of hanging with her at The Bell Tower.  Simply one of the all-time best.
Barbie Tice
Julio Bermejo
BAR: Tommy’s, Outer Richmond
“El Rey de Tequila”, Julio took over where his late father, Tomas, began. No one knows more about Tequila and making the perfect Margarita than Julio.
Julio Bermejo_Fotor
Silvio Maniscalco
BAR: Gino & Carlo
The great Sil gets his own place on the list, simply because he is one of the good guys, and he makes the perfect Negroni.
Silvio Maniscalco
Pat Lane
BAR: Molloy’s Tavern, Colma
Sure, it’s not officially San Francisco, but it’s where every Native goes when visiting a dearly departed loved one. Pat will make that trip worth your while with an excellent Irish Coffee and a bit of the blarney.

Victoria d’Amato
BAR: Tony Nik’s, North Beach
Amazing energy and personality, and poured a stiff cocktail, made to perfection. Tony Nik’s hasn’t been the same since she left. Period.

Chuck Klein
BAR: The Gold Dust Lounge on Powell, Union Square
This urbane gentleman held down the opening shift at the original GDL location. Made great conversation and a superb Bloody Mary. Gone, but not forgotten.

Michael Chan
BAR: Mr. Bing’s, Chinatown
The coolest bartender in Chinatown, or any other town, for that matter. Master of Golden Tee. Besides the wall painting of the tennis playing gal baring her ass, he was the reason to stop at Bing’s.

Snooky Fahey
BAR: Fahey’s, Sunset District
For 40 years, Snooky held court at his bar on Taraval.  Fahey’s was conveniently open (like most good San Francisco bars back in the day) at 6am, always served free hot dogs. Nicest man ever.
Snooky Fahey
Mike English
BAR: Perry’s, Cow Hollow
Perry Butler has hired some to the greatest bartenders of all time to work his saloon on Union Street. One of the best was Mike English, mainly for 2 reasons: his cocktail skills and his storytelling. I was lucky enough to be there as he shared, from behind his pink-framed reading glasses, some of the funniest, booziest tales ever heard.
Marty Lindstrom
BAR: Balboa Cafe, Cow Hollow
Walk in the door and there he was in his white coat and that big smile. He was the self proclaimed “world’s nicest human”. He’s got competition for that title right here on this page, but Marty wasn’t far off base.
marty 2_Fotor
Cookie Picetti
BAR: Cookie’s Star Cafe, Portsmouth Square
Digging into the depths of my dark mind, but I had the privilege of being served by this legend back when I was a 17-year old Lumper hauling restaurant supplies into the sidewalk delivery chutes of Chinatown. The old Hall of Justice was already gone, but Cookie was still running things from behind Kearny St. bar.  Did I say “legend”?
Cookie Picetti_Fotor
Honorable Mentions: Casey at Sodini’s Green Valley, Rick at the Tee Off and Pittsburgh’s Pub, Leila at Italian-American Social Club, Mike Roddy at LaRocca’s Corner, the late great JimBob Morey at the Question Mark (Dr’s), the late Ronnie Cotter at Cotter’s Corner, Michael McCourt at Washington Square Bar & Grill