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Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Don Herron, the hatted noir bar tourguide, is easy to find online.  Spotlighted here
are four noirs on his tour.  Above, John’s Grill, Financial District, 63 Ellis Street,

BAY AREA LIQUIDITY--Earlier this summer writer Dan Saltzstein wrote an excellent travel piece “San Francisco Noir” for the New York Times.  In it he pointed out Don Herron, a local has a one-man Dashiell Hammett tour of the big name noir bars in downtown San Francisco.  Among them is a bar missed by this blog’s venerable Saloon Editor Christopher Barnett. Others spotlighted by the NYTimes were House of Shields, John’s Grill and Tosca Café.

“If I had the resources of the NYTimes,” sniffed Barnett, “I coulda got you the story first.”

Well, here’s a delicious snippet from Saltzstein’s piece in the NYTimes:  

“...Perhaps no spot better celebrates the San Francisco-noir association better than a speakeasy-style bar secreted within another speakeasy-style bar — and in the Tenderloin no less. Heading down Jones Street toward O’Farrell, I passed a pane of frosted glass labeled the Wilson and Wilson Private Detective Agency. With a password, I gained entry to Bourbon and Branch, a dimly lit and bustling cocktail bar. After a quick right through a fake wall, I headed into Wilson and Wilson, a love letter to noir, Prohibition-era drinking and, as the name indicates, the detective trade...”

For the entire NY Times article go to:

House of Shields, South of Market, 39 New Montgomery Street,

Tosca Café, North Beach, 242 Columbus Avenue,

Wilson and Wilson, 505 Jones Street/The Tenderloin,

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