The Brown Jug

"Saloon Incumbents"

“Saloon Incumbents” (2012)

At the corner of Hyde and Eddy, in the very heart of the Tenderloin, is my favorite bar — a dive bar, of course — a little place named the Brown Jug Saloon. Currently owned by the genial Max McIntire, who loves to follow the ponies, it has been in continuous operation since 1942. Before that it was an Owl drug store. People from all over the world and from all walks of life sooner or later end up drinking there. A more cosmpolitan atmosphere would be hard to find. Just because I never go anywhere without a camera, I have taken many pictures at the Brown Jug. These are a few of my favorites.

Max and Randy

“Max and Randy” (2012)

Cassie May

“Cassie May” (2012)

Rodney and Fred

“Rodney and Fred” (2012)

Saturday Afternoon

“Saturday Afternoon” (2012)

Table by the Door

“Table by the Door” (2012)


“Self-portrait” (2012)


Filed under Local Characters, Tenderloin

11 responses to “The Brown Jug

  1. I think you’re right to some extent that the young don’t care about history. The nature of change means that their history is different to your or mine. Your amazing photography documents both architecture and individuals. Buildings are but a shadow of their full worth if they aren’t occupied and used, sometimes as originally intended and other times co-opted to a new purpose. I’ve never visited the US so forgive me if I use my own points of reference. Huge industry dominated the landscapes where I lived for decades. Steelworks, coal mining. In the steel city, acres were given over to huge furnaces. It was a city within a city and had its own laws. Pubs opened around 5am to serve the workers at the end of their shift. Use architecture spoke of strength and permanence. Only a few protected treasures now remain and the only dominant building for miles is a Mall. The mines survived a couple of decades more before succumbing to political necessity. The communities that were built around them lost their lifeblood yet struggle on as anaemic shadows.

    The pubs were where you found the characters, as with the bars you document in SF. People no longer meet in them as they too surrender to night clubs. There’s no money in pubs unless you can serve good food. And so the architecture of my youth gives over to progress of a kind. Change is always there and rarely in a form that nurtures the past. I take heart in the fact the you feel strongly enough to write about it. Your words and pictures give eloquence to the SF you love, giving me a window into something I will probably never get to see. Thanks.

  2. Larry McIntire

    Max;;;;; You look great, will b out for a free drink this winter…..Larry

  3. Christine

    Jackson retired, or “lost his lease”. If you stop by the 21 Club, Frank and April know the whole story. I like the 21 Club occasionally after work, I sit in the corner at the end of the bar and watch the movie outside.

  4. Ter'e Crow Lindsay

    BTW………..nice photo of you Mark!!!!!! You look good.

  5. Ter'e Crow Lindsay

    Bet my dad, Bob Crow and my Uncle, Checks Sloan, both went in there. Remember Bob owned the Port Hole and also worked at the Pirates Cave. Checks played the ponies, too. Bob didn’t have the $ to play the ponies.

    Does anyone know what happened to JACKSON, the black shoeshine man that was located at Mason and Eddy for 50 some odd years???? JACKSON and I had a terrific kinship. He was the shoeshine man outside the Port Hole in 1948-52. One hell of a guy! We used to laugh and joke about being family. I am a short waspish blonde, so you get the picture. He was a dear and had quite a sense of humor. I have some great pix of my hubby, Jackson and me. He is one of my nicest memories.

    Did Jackson pass??????

    • Now that you mention it, I can’t remember the last time I saw Jackson. I’ll ask around and let you know what I find out, Ter’e.

      Also, thanks for sharing your memories. And speaking of the Port Hole, a young lady just emailed some old photos of her dad when he was an on-leave sailor, hanging out at the Port Hole! I’ll post them sometime soon, whenever I get around to writing another piece about the US Navy’s long history with the Tenderloin.

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