Tag Archives: bar/saloon

Back at Last

Medical issues, financial woes and deep depression made the last seven or eight months pretty harrowing, diverting all my time and energy, and thus Up From The Deep has languished. Recently, I had to pawn much of my equipment to cover medication costs, thanks to bureaucrats and bean counters at my Medicare Part D provider. On the upside, my eyesight has been restored by my brilliant ophthalmologist, Dr. Gary Aguilar, and I have at long last pulled myself up out of the worst depressive episode in over twenty years. Now it is high time I bring you up to date with what I managed to photograph.

For starters, here are a few of the people who — entirely unbeknownst to them — kept me from altogether losing my mind.

wendy-mid-market

“Wendy – mid-Market” (2014)

Sketchers - mid-Market

“Laurie Wigham & Sketchers – mid-Market” (2014)

My friend Wendy MacNaughton, author and illustrator of Meanwhile in San Francisco, in partnership with the wonderful Laurie Wigham of SF Sketchers (“I want to sketch on paper without an undo button and get inkstains on my fingers”), invited me as a guest lecturer to lead a sketching expedition of the mid-Market corridor. What a grand time it was, and how fascinating to observe the ways different people perceive the same things.

Lewis Jackson

“Lewis Jackson” (2014)

Jackson for many years had a shoeshine stand near the corner of Mason and Turk. After he retired a few years ago, I lost track of him. When a mutual friend now living in Florida asked about him, I decided to look him up. I found him one bright Sunday morning, dressed in his Sunday best, near where his shoeshine stand had been, and learned that he returns there every weekend to visit with old friends. Whenever I would see him in years gone by, Jackson never failed to make me smile, and when I caught up with him last fall, I was not disappointed.

Gangway 01

“At the Gangway” (2014)

Occasional visits to the Gangway with friends Koffi and Dan would always raise my spirits.

Mark & Julia

“Mark & Julia” (2015)

Julia Scott, author of Drivel, invited me to participate in a soundscape audio tour of the Tenderloin called “Detour,” which ended up being a thoroughly delightful experience. Julia is a sweetheart with the patience of a saint, who even on my worst days managed to pull me up out of my funk to record voiceovers for her project. Not many people could do that, I dare say.

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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_06aug12

“Self-portrait” (2012)

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Old School

Max and Randy

“Max and Randy” (2012)

A few days ago, I captured owner Max McIntyre and a customer at the Brown Jug Saloon on Eddy Street, a personal favorite among watering holes and by far the best dive bar in the Tenderloin, if not San Francisco. Bartender Jo is a neighborhood treasure; a walking, talking archive of Tenderloin history.

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Lower Turk

Lower-Turk-

“Lower Turk” (2007 Survey)

(339/9) 162-166 Turk Street; El Rosa Hotel, Helen Hotel (1985). 1906.

(339/8) 150 Turk Street; Star Garage. 2B stories; reinforced concrete structure; stucco facade with galvanized iron column order, swags at ground level, and huge elliptical fanlight; composition: enframed window wall; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation. Alterations: none. Original owner: Harry R. Bogart 1921. Architect: Joseph L. Stewart. 1921.

(339/7) 136-140 Turk Street; The Earle Lodgings, Boston Hotel (1907). Lodging house with forty-one rooms and two baths. 3B stories; brick structure with stucco facade; blue and gold tile storefront, galvanized iron cornice; two-part commercial composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; tile vestibule; lobby: stair landing with remodeled finishes. Alterations: “Blue and Gold” letters removed from storefront; former tenant: Blue and Gold Bar (1983), now San Francisco Rescue Mission (2007). Original owner: Mrs. Alicia McCone. Architect: Charles M. Rousseau. 1907.

(339/6) 130-134 Turk Street. Store and restaurant, converted to lodging house by 1981 with eighty-two rooms (possibly cribs) and five baths. 3B stories; reinforced concrete with stucco facade; facade scored like stone masonry, galvanized iron cornice; two-part vertical composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; alterations: belt course over ground level removed, windows boarded up, storefront. Original owner: Emma Dixon. Architect unknown. 1923.

(339/5) 124-126 Turk Street; Hotel Portola, Marathon Hotel, Lowell Hotel, Argue Hotel, Camelot Hotel. Rooming house with fifty-seven rooms and thirty-two baths. 6B stories; faded painted sign on upper west wall for “Hotel Portola . . . Rooms . . .”. Alterations: windows replaced with aluminum and all ornament and finishes except decorative iron fire escape on facade altered since 1983. Architect: Albert Farr. 1907.

(339/4) 116-120 Turk Street; The Elite lodgings, Hotel Holly, Porter Hotel, Youth Hostel Centrale. Rooming house with twenty-six rooms and six baths. 3B stories; brick structure with glazed brick facade; terra cotta wreath over entry and galvanized iron trim and cornice; 2-part commercial composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; vestibule: mosaic floor with “116”; lobby: stair landing with cornice molding. Alterations: storefront; former tenant: Port Hole Bar. Original owner: Mary A. Deming. Architect: E.A. Hermann. 1910.

(339/3) 101-121 Turk Street;) Hotel Hyland (1907, Hotel Young (1908), Hotel Empire (1911), Chapin Hotel (1920), Hotel Raford (1923), Tyland Hotel. Stores and rooming house with 115 rooms and fifty baths. 4B stories; brick structure; stucco facade, moldings, cartouches, bosses, beltcourses; three-part vertical composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation. Alterations: ground level, storefronts, vestibule, aluminum windows, cornice removed. Site of 1966 Compton Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, first documented U.S. riot by gay and transgender men and women against police. Original owner: Woodward Investment Company. Architect: A.M. Edelman. 1907.

(340/12) 108-120 Taylor Street; St. Ann Hotel, Hotel Lennox, Bard Hotel, Notel Winfield, Hotel Warfield (1923). 1907.

Interspersed among the Tenderloin’s densely-packed residential buildings are various commercial buildings designed to serve residents’ needs, mainly stores and auto repair and parking garages. There are also churches, union halls, a YMCA, a theater, and film exchange buildings.

Lower-Turk-Street_1920
Source: California State Library

Lower Turk, 1920. Note the glass-paned marquee over the entrance to the Camelot Hotel.

Port-Hole_1942
Source: San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library

The Port Hole, 1942. Newscopy: “The Port Hole, 126 Turk Street, provides its patrons with song and rhythm de luxe. Above are (left to right) Bud Seghiari, ‘groan box’ artist extraordinary; Evelyn Thompson, Sadie Shipley and Judy Blair (seated on the piano), mistresses of song; Dave Olson at the piano and Larry Duran with guitar.”

In 1948 the Port Hole moved to the first block of Mason Street, where it continued to operate into the 1950s. During the years that Treasure Island was an active US Navy base, the Tenderloin bars favored by on-leave sailors were the Port Hole, the Blue and Gold at 136 Turk, and the Coral Sea at 220 Turk.

165-Turk

“165 Turk” (2007)

(343/17) 161-165 Turk Street; El Crest Apartments, 165 Turk Street Apartments. Twenty-one two- and three-room apartments. 6B stories; reinforced concrete structure; stucco facade; two-part vertical composition; Spanish Gothic ornamentation; vestibule: tile floor, paneled walls, cornice moldings; storefront: largely intact including vestibule with tile floor. Alterations: aluminum windows. Original owner: F.W. Hess. Designer: James H. Hjul, engineer. 1923.

The former El Crest Apartments are now owned and operated by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. The storefront at 161 Turk Street (renumbered 165) was formerly the Record Exchange, home of Bill Melander’s world-famous record collection.

Record Exchange
Source: San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library

The Record Exchange, 1947.

Bill-Melander-
Source: San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library

William “Pops” Melander, 1947.

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