Western Neighborhoods Project is dedicated to the history of San Francisco's Richmond, Sunset, OMI and West of Twin Peaks districts.   read more ...
 

Outside Lands Podcast Episode 517: Clement Pubs Part 2

We're taking another drink on Clement Street as Nicole & Arnold share the history of two more buildings that house two more of our favorite watering holes in the Inner Richmond District.
by Nicole Meldahl - Sep 23, 2023

Outside Lands Podcast Episode 517: Clement Pubs Part 2 Outside Lands Podcast Episode 517: Clement Pubs Part 2

(above) Clement near 6th Ave, circa 1940

Eastbound 2-line streetcar #254 between 6th and 7th Ave on Clement. Passengers waiting to board.


Podcast Transcription

WNP517 – Clement Pubs Part 2

Nicole: [00:00:00] It's Outside Lands San Francisco, podcast of Western Neighborhoods Project. Your weekly dose of friendly neighborhood history.

And hello there Outside Landers, I'm your host, Nicole Meldahl.

Arnold: And I am your co-host, Arnold Woods.

Nicole: So, Arnold, two weeks ago, we told everybody about our Clement Street History Stop posters created to celebrate the installation of spiffy new banners designed by artist Risa Culbertson and spearheaded by the Clement Street Merchants Association and, you know, maybe someone, maybe there's someone out there listening who has no idea what we're talking about. And if that's the case, friends, you might want to listen to episode 515, because we tell you all about this program, and why we were involved, and how it happened. But we paused that story [00:01:00] for a week to celebrate Bazaar Café's birthday on Bazaar Café's actual birthday last Saturday. So, we're back on track now.

Arnold: And so, as we move forward, we're gonna continue following our Clement Street pub crawl route which, you may recall, we installed four posters at the Plough & Stars. Bitter End, 540 Rogues, and the Richmond Republic. And we dealt with the first two of those in episode 515. And so, now it's time that we finish this journey starting kind of where we left off since there's a connection between the Bitter End and the Richmond Republic.

Nicole: Absolutely. So, speaking of Richmond Republic, Arnold, did you know, and you do know because you've already read all of the notes for the podcast, but did you know that the Haig's hummus you may purchase at your local grocery store has a history here?

Arnold: I did not know that, but then, I don't eat hummus either. So. [00:02:00]

Nicole: You don't eat hummus?

Arnold: Not a chickpea fan.

Nicole: Yeah, but it's all blended. Like, I don't associate chickpeas with hummus. This is new, this is something new I'm learning about you. I love hummus. I specifically love Haig's hummus, and I loved Haig's hummus before I knew about Haig and how he made hummus on Clement Street. And that's what we're going to get into right now. Because 642 Clement Street was the home to Haig's delicacies for many years before Richmond Republic Draught House opened.

Arnold: So, let's go back to the very beginning. The building itself was built in 1910 and began its life as a millinery shop run by Mrs. Orren E. Shorb. However, the store was quickly sold in 1913, quote, “on account of sickness.” End quote. And up through the 1930s, it had a series of owners who ran a succession of related endeavors like millinery, dry goods, or women's clothing.

Nicole: Yeah, you know what Arnold? I think we should have some sort of sound effect [00:03:00] that's like a going back in time sound effect because how often we go. let's go back to the beginning. We're going to have to bring that up with Ian Hadley, but that's in a later discussion. And it's not history either. So, let's get back to that. So, in 1940, Anthony Ignaffo opened the Coliseum Shoe Store at this location. Born in Palermo, Italy, Anthony had been selling shoes on this street since 1929 when he borrowed $500 from the bank to open his first store. A neighborhood staple, Coliseum Shoe moved to 617 Clement in 1973 before finally closing in 1981, due to, drumroll please [rapping sound], high rent. That was some weak drumroll, but I appreciate you, Arnold. That sounded more like a friendly knock on the door.

Arnold: I didn't have the two hands to work the drumroll. So.

Nicole: It's true. It’s true. You know what, we'll prove that sound effect too. And yeah, you know, that [00:04:00] whole rent increase, I guess, is a San Francisco tale as old as time.

Arnold: Indeed it is. And John Ignaffo, Tony's brother, had a shoe store on Irving Street in the Sunset District. Tony was a past president of the Clement Street Merchants Association, and according to a March 1998 obituary in the San Francisco Examiner, quote, “was given the affectionate title of the Mayor of Clements Street.” End quote.

Nicole: Hilariously, when Chelsea was researching this history, we just heard her go, “Oh my gosh. Oh, John's brother had a shoe store too, but on the other side of town.” We get so much joy about finding the most banal information for this podcast. But that's why we're good at what we do. At least I hope you think we are. Okay, so moving on from shoes, Haig's Delicacies opened its doors to customers here in this location in 1973. And according to Haig's website, it was founded in 1956 by Haig Kilijian, an Armenian [00:05:00] immigrant from Istanbul, Turkey. He was actually born Hayik Kilicoglu, I'm sure I butchered that, so I apologize in advance, on December 8, 1933, but changed his name when he became a U.S. citizen in 1963. At that time, Haig's Middle Eastern Delicacies was located at 302 Clement, and the following year it moved to a larger location at 441 Clement, which is, of course, home today to the Bitter End Bar, which you learned all about in episode 515 of this podcast.

Arnold: And that's the connection we were talking about.

Nicole: Yeah, that sure is.

Arnold: As a 1974 San Francisco Examiner article stated, quote, “Armenian and Greek foods are the principal stock and trade at Haig's delicacies.” End quote. Another article in 1977 detailed that, quote, “four years ago when Haig Kilijian moved here after 18 years down the block, he put in [00:06:00] four tables and began serving hot falafel and kuptas, a traditional Middle Eastern form of sandwich. Within a few months, he had to add more tables and then a mezzanine to handle the overflow lunch crowd.” End quote. And that business thrived on Clement Street, counting the likes of Robin Williams and James Beard as big fans.

Nicole: Absolutely. That's a pretty broad range of customers. Haig's brother-in-law, Vahram “Bill” Takvorian, owned and operated the shop on Clement Street starting in about 1980. All the foodstuffs were made on Clement until 2009 when Haig's wholesale operations moved to Hayward. In 2013, news broke that the family run storefront was closing after 57 years to focus on their wholesale products that grace supermarket shelves. And I quote, “the family run business is known for their selection of foods from Europe, Southeast Asia, India, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, including rare and unique spices, teas, coffees, and [00:07:00] gifts,” end quote, according to a 2013 article from one of our favorites, the Richmond District Blog.

Arnold: And we get to today. The Richmond Republic Draught House opened in 2014. They retained Haig's mezzanine and, since then, has been a pleasant place to grab a drink on Clement Street.

Nicole: We were not paid to say this, but I have to say this is one of my favorite places to get a beer. Their food is really great. Everyone's really friendly there. They always have baseball on, which I appreciate. And now, I look at that mezzanine inside and I think about how Haig had it built and wonder if it is legally permitted.

Arnold: Too late to complain now.

Nicole: It's true, and I hope none of the planning department listens to this podcast, because we're not trying to cause trouble. We just have thinking thoughts sometimes when we have beers.

Arnold: So, our next place, next bar that is, however, has been a bar for a long time. If you're thinking that the facade of 540 [00:08:00] Rogues doesn't quite match your typical bar exterior, that's because this building began. as a bank.

Nicole: It sure did.

Arnold: And it looks like it.

Nicole: It does look like a bank. Constructed in 1929, 540 Clement Street opened as the Park Presidio Office of the Pacific State Savings and Loan Company one month after the stock market crash in 1929. What a great time to be in the bank business. Pacific States was originally incorporated as a building and loan association in 1889, and it initially weathered the crash and early stages of the Great Depression on pretty solid financial ground. But soon the winds began to change, Arnold.

Arnold: They sure did. According to an article in the San Francisco Examiner on December 23rd, 1932, Pacific State locations on Clement and Market Street were simultaneously robbed. Thieves struck just after 1 p.m. and made off with [00:09:00] a whopping $363 in cash, of course, that's a lot back then.

Nicole: Yeah, it is.

Arnold: After menacing customers and employees. The company's large portfolio began to falter in 1933, coincidentally the last year we see advertisements in local newspapers for a branch in the Richmond District.

Nicole: Yep, by 1936, neighborhood residents William H. Greely and his wife Ella, were serving beer from this address. Although the Greelys transferred ownership of the business to George W. Oberg and L.J. Galbraith in 1942, their legacy continues. 540 Clement has continually served as a community watering hole ever since. And sorry I can't talk. Been staying up all night watching Felicity. Highly recommend, but it makes recording a podcast hard. George and L.J. began calling the bar Five-Forty Club, written out. Not just the number. And within a couple years, L.J. left [00:10:00] George to run the bar with his wife, Norma.

Arnold: And they brought in James Armbruster and Emil Cranert around 1945. When George died at the Oberg's 163 10th Avenue home after a long illness in June of 1947, his obituary remembered him as also a past president of the Clement Street Merchants Association. And Norma was still associated with the bar for at least a year after his death.

Nicole: Yeah, it wasn't our intention to find Merchants Association history when pulling these histories together, but you can't avoid it. Like this, this association has been around, I think, for about a hundred years, if I remember correctly, and deserves its own podcast.

Arnold: I was about to say that.

Nicole: I know, but we don't know where the archives are. Like, several merchants, long standing merchants on the street, have asked us, including Michael Busk, whose dad was a one-time president, and I, you know, I don't know where they ended up. I assume they're in someone's garage or they have been thrown away. But anyways, [00:11:00] that's an aside. And you know what? I'm going to lead into another striking aside. 540 Club also sponsored sports teams. So, dating back as early as 1941, 540 Club's bowling team is mentioned in city newspapers with Armbruster and Cranert cited as co-sponsors in a 1947 San Francisco Examiner article. A harrowing, heartwarming story connected to a 540 Club bowler named Mike Chiechi highlights how neighborhood bars are great meeting places.

Arnold: Do local businesses still sponsor sports teams?

Nicole: I was just wondering that and thought a WNP bowling team is perhaps the next, the next generation for us.

Arnold: It seems to be like, in the past, it was a common thing. There's a another upcoming podcast that we've been researching where some guy sponsored a whole lot of sports teams.

Nicole: Oh yeah.

Arnold: But, you know, I can't think of any place now that still does [00:12:00] it. Of course, maybe I'm not looking.

Nicole: Yeah, well, neither of us have kids. Cause yeah, when I played softball in Southern California, we were like Prudential Realty, like little league team, or one year we were called the Bushwhackers too, which is an unfortunate thing to name a young girl's baseball or softball team. But, but yeah, I don't know if that's still a thing with little local leagues here.

Arnold: Listeners, write in and let us know whether it's still a thing.

Nicole: Yeah, do you have kids and is their team called something weird? Is their kid's team sponsored by a bar? Seems doubtful.

Arnold: Who knows.

Nicole: But yes, the WNP bowling team, that, that's gonna stick with me, y'all.

Arnold: I used to bowl in leagues.

Nicole: Did you?

Arnold: I did.

Nicole: We're learning so much about Arnold on this podcast. Does not like hummus. Does like to bowl.

Arnold: It's been a long time, though. Anyways, Mike's story starts far away from the Richmond District in Los Gato’s Lexington Reservoir on a summer day in 1954. It's a place [00:13:00] that both me and Chelsea well know.

Nicole: Oh yeah, I don't know it at all, although we drove by it recently, and she was like, that's the thing from the 540 Club.

Arnold: Right.

Nicole: And I went, ah, beautiful.

Arnold: Anyways, 27-year-old Mike was out water skiing on the reservoir with his wife Barbara, when he fell down and struck his head on an underwater object. Thanks to the life vest he was wearing, his unconscious body stayed afloat, but unfortunately, it was face down.

Nicole: I can’t believe you read that with so much glee.

Arnold: It wasn't meant to be glee. It's supposed to, like…

Nicole: Excitement.

Arnold: Give a feeling of excitement, what’s going on.

Nicole: Okay, we're excited. When Barbara tried to turn the boat around to save her husband, the motor no longer worked and she was unable to reach him. Another boater nearby, Harlan Johnson, came to the rescue and pulled Mike's body out of the water. Once he was brought ashore, Mike was initially pronounced dead by an ambulance crew.

Arnold: Fortunately, however, two young off duty officers from Burlingame tried to resuscitate him using then [00:14:00] new CPR, and after a long while, Mike sprang back to life and the two officers left the scene and went about their day. Mike spent the next 12 years wondering who these men were who saved his life on that summer day.

Nicole: I still can't believe that in 1954, CPR was a new technique. What were we doing before then?

Arnold: Letting people die?

Nicole: Okay, well, this podcast is taking a real turn. But it's gonna get better, I promise you. One November day in 1966, when Mike was working as a bartender at 540 Club, he overheard a patron telling another this exact story, but from the police officer's perspective. Mike excitedly said, “say that again.” The patron was the officer who had saved him. And just like that, Mike Chiechi and one of the men who saved his life were reunited at 540 Club. And that information was found by our student volunteer, Drew Moss, who really has an eye for interesting [00:15:00] storylines. So, way to go, Drew. But now, you know, let's maybe get back to the bar.

Arnold: Indeed, let's shall. James Armbruster is listed as the sole owner of 540 Clement until 1960. By 1962, it picked up the maybe unfortunate name of Touchables 540 Club. Armbruster appears to have stepped back in 1965, and by 1968, partner Mike Chiechi operated the business. In 1969, another partner, Herbert Hakala, stepped up after retiring from the army the year prior. And he brought some changes to the bar. Legend goes that Hak removed the old bank vault, piece by piece, where recent regulars will remember playing pool.

Nicole: Just as a, if you're thinking of opening a bar, just as like a general rule, don't put Touchables in the title. Just for all of your female bartenders sake, don't, just don't put it in. And if you know why it was called Touchables, [00:16:00] dear listeners, please let us know because I couldn't find information on that and I'm curious why anybody thought that was a good idea. So, let's talk a little bit about Hakala. Originally from Wisconsin, Herbert served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and thereafter enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1968. He married Haru “Spring” Nozawa of Yokohama, Japan, on October 9th, 1953, and the couple lived for a time in Salinas while Herbert was stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey, before settling in San Francisco.

Arnold: So, the bar was called, as we said, Touchables 540 Club. That was only listed in city directories through 1966 and, fun fact, they also had a robust bowling team associated with the bar through the 1960s.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: The bar's name was formally changed to Hak's Cocktail Lounge, Hak being short for Hakala by 1972. Hak’s is listed in city directories there until [00:17:00] 1978.

Nicole: So now we're getting up to the modern era of 540 Club's history which has been incredibly confused over the years. Which I think is the inevitable result of stories being passed down and retold. Like, for example, old bartenders have told reporters that the structure was built in 1909 by the Bank of Italy, which you now know is untrue. But we do know that in 1980, the bar was no longer called Hak's and was instead called Max's 540 Club.

Arnold: And you can get a feel for this place from the people who frequented the bar during that decade. In a July 1984 Examiner article, a reporter asked bar patrons what they thought of the Democratic National Convention, which was taking place in the city that summer.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: And somebody said for a rock bottom cynicism, Max's 540 Club offered this, my TV's broke, quote, “my TV's broken, and I [00:18:00] haven't bothered to get it fixed. Conventions are a bunch of bad news. You elect these people, and they don't do what they say anyway.” End quote. Not too much different from today.

Nicole: And that quote was from merchant seaman, which gives you an idea of what kind of clientele was patroning the 540 Club at that time. And in February 1989, a regular named Hatfield told the Examiner writer Edvin Beitiks, and I quote, “this is a real bar. The top's not Formica. The top's not tile. The top's not where they just have glue up this high. This bar is real.” End quote. In the same article, bartender Karen Ziesmer said, and I quote again, “this is the only bar in town where the customer is never right.” End quote.

Arnold: I wonder what they were always wrong about.

Nicole: This is the energy I need from bars at all times.

Arnold: The bar remained largely unchanged as the neighborhood began to ease into the [00:19:00] 1990s. The 1989 article referenced above refers to the bar's location as the, quote, “heart of upscale high rent Clement.” End quote. The O'Rourke family took it over in the 1990s and even though the sign still said, and still says today, Max's, it was simply called O'Rourke's or O'Rourke's Bar until 2002.

Nicole: That year, Jamie Brown became the new owner. During the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020, former bartenders including Clark Dorsey, Kevin Hansen, Lee J. Victor, and an anonymous fourth partner paid Jamie's back rent, acquired a new liquor license, and brought the bar into its current iteration as Rogue's 540.

Arnold: And that ends our pub walk.

Nicole: It does.

Arnold: Pub history walk down Clement Street.

Nicole: I mean, there's more locations and we actually would love to do more History Stop posters with funding and a better timeline. But yeah, this has been a fun jaunt through some of the pubs that we [00:20:00] covered this year in our pub crawl.

Arnold: And chances are that pub crawl will happen again in the future sometime. Don't know when. But, if so, sign up and come drink with us.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: At this pub walk.

Nicole: You can sign up and drink with us on most of our events, to be honest. And sometimes we don't make you walk. You just come in and you sit down. Which makes us sound like the alcoholic history group. But we're not, we’re not even drinking right now, Arnold.

Arnold: We are not. But that makes this a good time to say, Say What Now?

Nicole: So, another place where you used to be able to get a drink may have a new life, too. As we told you last week, a new tenant has been announced for the Cliff House. That’s Sutro Lands End Partners, LLC, led by environmental attorney Alexander Leff, who grew up in the Richmond District, but I just learned is not technically related to our dear friend Judy Leff. Thank you, Judy. And we learned that Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group, which operates five other Bay Area restaurants, will also be in charge of the restaurants in this space. So, [00:21:00] hello Alexander and Hi Neighbor. We have something to tell you. We want to put the Cliff House collection back on display in the Cliff House, but we want to manage it. We want to manage it. We're not just giving it to you. It's still going to be ours, and we're going to take care of it, but in your space. So, we need you to call us.

Arnold: And the public can help us out here.

Nicole: They sure can, Arnold.

Arnold: Cause one of the things that this new group has done is set up a website where they are asking for your input on what they should be doing there. And you can tell these new proprietors of the Cliff House, maybe we shouldn't be calling it the Cliff House, we don't know if that's gonna be the name yet.

Nicole: The Former Cliff House restaurant, I think, is how Mary Hountalas prefers us to refer to it.

Arnold: Right. So, you can tell the new proprietors of the Former Cliff House restaurant what's on your mind at www.cliffhousefuture.com. You can go on that website and they've got a little form you can fill in and say what do you want to see there. Tell them you want to see the Cliff House Collection back [00:22:00] there.

Nicole: Yeah. I think some language that says, “gee golly, we sure would like to see Western Neighborhoods Project manage exhibitions in the new restaurant space so they can put the Cliff House Collection and all of its artifacts back in the building.” End quote.

Arnold: And if you do go on that website and put in something telling them to bring the Cliff House Collection back there, maybe tell us about that in a listener mail.

Nicole: Oh yeah!  First of all, how does one send this listener mail Arnold?

Arnold: Well, you put a pen to paper.

Nicole: Oh.

Arnold: And do a snail mail to 1617 Balboa Street. Or, if you don't want to go to that much trouble, you just put a finger to a keyboard and send us an email at podcast@outsidelands.org. [00:23:00] Or find a post about the podcast on one of our many social media presences, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and post a podcast comment there.

Nicole: Put a finger to the keyboard is a phrase that I will not be able to dislodge from my brain tonight. Thank you, Arnold. And now, hopefully, you too, listeners, will never unhear that again. So, anyways, which is the subname of our podcast, after listening to part one of our Clement Pubs, oh, Clement Pubs podcast, Randy wrote with an idea for part two. Which we didn't use Randy, because I think it deserves its own podcast. So, Randy said, “hey, I'm writing in regards to the podcast. I hope you plan to include the Holy City Zoo on part two about bars on Clement Street. My dad owned the Holy City Zoo comedy bar in the late 70s. So feel free to contact me if [00:24:00] you have any questions about that.” Oh my god, Randy, thank you so much. So, if you just listened to this podcast and you know Holy City Zoo was not included, but we're definitely going to get to it. And I want, I would love for Randy to be involved. I gotta tell you, this is like back-to-back listener mails where someone has been, has shared really cool information about their family history that is right up our alley. And it's one of the best things that come out of the podcast, as people get connected with us in really fun ways. So, I don't know where we're going to get to that. First, I got to send Randy an email, which is always a struggle for me. But we're going to, we're going to do it. This is so much fun because you know who played frequently as a surprise guest at Holy City Zoo, Arnold? Someone who also went to one of these, one of, to Haig's delicacies.

Arnold: Probably Robin Williams.

Nicole: Sure did. Yeah. I love any time I get a chance to talk about Robin Williams. So, stay tuned and thank you Randy, so much, for sharing your family history with us. And that means it's [00:25:00] time, Arnold, to tell everybody all about the benefits of membership and donating.

Arnold: That is correct. And you can become a member by clickety, clickety, clacking on the big orange button at the top of every website page. There's also a big orange donate button at the top of every website page. So, take your pick. Become a member, or just donate. But if you become a member, you get our quarterly membership magazine, you get discounts on events and other perks. But whether you become a member or you just donate, you're helping us preserve West side history and that includes all the things we do. Like our OpenSFHistory program, which is over 54, 000 old historic photos of San Francisco. It takes care of the Cliff House collection, which grew a little bit bigger.

Nicole: Oh, it sure did.

Arnold: I think we'll talk about that a little bit here soon.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: And, of course, this podcast. Which I mean, really, we've been doing this 10 [00:26:00] years now. We're over 500 episodes. And your support makes this all work. So, please become a member, please donate, whichever floats your boat. Help us out.

Nicole: Do you think we should explain why we say clickety, clickety, clack, or should we just leave that a mystery?

Arnold: Well, I know you coined the phrase, I'm not sure why.

Nicole: I coined the phrase because I used to get so nervous being a guest on these podcasts when it was the guys doing it. And they would be like, come on, say this part. And I would say ridiculous nonsense. And that's what happened. I was like [gibberish] clickety, clickety, clack. And like David loved it so much that he made t-shirts that say clickety, clickety clack. And here we are years later still using this dumb catchphrase.

Arnold: It's become ubiquitous.

Nicole: It has. That's a little WNP history in anticipation of our 25th anniversary next year, in which we'll be doing a lot more real WNP history. So, [00:27:00] speaking of, What's up with WNP?

Arnold: Well, there's all kinds of things. And as you know, we've renamed this section. It used to be called announcements. But people were curious, wanting to know what we were doing and all things happening behind our closed office curtains. So, when we hosted our open house here, weekend before last.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: Folks were like, who are you? What are you doing here? Why is this door open? Why do you have this history stuff in the front windows?

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: So, we're gonna just start telling you people from now on what's up with the WNP instead of just making it the boring announcement section.

Nicole: Yeah, because those announcements before were super boring. But not these announcements, in which I tell you, we have two brand new donations to the WNP collection, which I'm really excited about. It's incredible that pieces keep sort of wandering in. And they're both sort of Cliff House or Cliff [00:28:00] House adjacent too. So, the first, we got an incredible set of four pairs of original windows from the Sutro Baths. They have the colored stained glass windows, which if you've ever seen color photos of Sutro Baths. are kind of haunting and beautiful. These were donated by Edie Epps’ daughter. Edie Epps was an incredible historian here in San Francisco. She was an integral force behind the Visitation Valley History Project. She passed away recently, very suddenly, you know, and working in history with a lot of older folks, death is not uncommon in our community, but some people, when they leave us, have, it hits us extra hard. And losing Edie, she was always such a lovely human being, just a ray of sunshine, wonderful part of our community. And I was so upset when we, when we lost her. We had actually been working with her to try to help her sell these windows to [00:29:00] help pay down some of her medical expenses. And now, her daughter is involved in trying to figure out where her mother's collection needs to go. And we're so grateful to have these pieces for many reasons. But one of the biggest is to remember Edie.

Arnold: Edie will be missed. But we also got something else this week.

Nicole: Yeah, we went on a journey this weekend, this past weekend. Myself, Chelsea, and one of our board members, Carissa, and her partner, Ryan Butterfield, and Harvey Newman went down to Aptos to collect an original Cliff House and Seafood Beverage Company sign. This is a massive wooden sign that has, like, a carved clipper ship on it. And, and it's a little falling apart. It's got sort of some, some rusty glory all around it. But I did confirm with Mary Hountalas, who's, of course, the former proprietor, with her husband, Dan, of the Cliff House [00:30:00] Restaurant, and she confirmed it is. It's an original from the 1970s, one of the early concessions they had in the building. And it is beautiful. And we got this from a woman named Carmel Brown, who had this piece, wanted to find a good place for it, googled us, all the press surrounding The Museum at The Cliff came up, and she decided that these folks, that us, that we would be good stewards of this artifact. So, we went down, we got it. Ryan and Harvey installed it here in the office and now it sits right behind my desk and it's a curiosity on all of our Zoom, my Zoom meetings. And we're so grateful to have pieces like this. It's really amazing. We really don't have room for stuff like this, but there aren't a lot of great options to donate artifacts that pertain to San Francisco history in San Francisco since the city doesn't have a formal history museum. So, we will always take priceless artifacts like these.

Arnold: And the sign features this clipper ship and there's wording indicating that [00:31:00] in 1852, it went around the horn to the Golden Gate. And we don't know necessarily the name of this clipper ship. We haven't really done the research on it yet. But we did find out that in 1852, there was something called the Deep Sea Derby where 95 ships left northeastern seaports and went around the horn up to San Francisco. I don't know if there's a race or just what was going on, but this may be a reference to that race. We don't know yet. But we’ll find out.

Nicole: I certainly hope so, because that sounds like a great thing for shipwreck week 2024. I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. Truly am because we haven't technically launched Shipwreck Week 2023, but it is right around the corner, beginning October 7th through the 14th. We told you about it before. Chelsea and I are so excited about this. We've been looking forward to it all year. I can't believe it's almost upon us. And the news connected to this week-long celebration and commemoration, that we locked in this week, [00:32:00] is we just got new works by artist Norio Fujikawa that are incredible. He's taken three of our OpenSFHistory images, which are, of course, of shipwrecks, and he's added special illustrations to them. I love these so much. We'll be releasing these as limited edition prints that will be available to purchase during Shipwreck Week from the Great Highway Gallery, which will be reopening as the official purveyor of WNP merchandise, at least as it pertains to coastal zones. And you know what? Jesus, there's so much more happening. Arnold. What are the other things that are happening during Shipwreck Week?

Arnold: We've got podcasts, we've got history walks and talks, we have a happy hour at the Riptide, and more. This is going to be epic, so you don't want to miss it. See our website for the full eight-day roster of events. And you better sign up quick, because these things are flying off the shelf, so to speak, the tickets.

Nicole: They're flying off the bow, on the starboard side. This is how, [00:33:00] you know, this is where our listeners will really get to know that I don't know anything about ships. I'm gonna use all the wrong ship terminology. But, you know, but I'm gonna bring what I'm good at to the table, which is I will be wearing specially curated maritime outfits. So, looking forward to that.

Arnold: So, as always, we have, beyond Shipwreck Week, walks and talks happening, including our partnership with Shaping San Francisco to celebrate their 25th anniversary. You can find out the details for all these events at outsidelands.org/events. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website. And you can simply go to Eventbrite and join the followers, over 400 followers.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: Of our organization there, and be the first to learn of events as they get posted.

Nicole: Yeah. They'll drop you an email, which some of you may or may not be able to get if you have unsubscribed from getting the Eventbrite emails. But nonetheless, it's the [00:34:00] quickest way to hear about new public programs. Arnold, I think it's time for a preview for next week.

Arnold: Indeed it is, and it's time for another interview podcast.

Nicole: Oh!

Arnold: Actually, it's been a few weeks since we last had one.

Nicole: Yeah.

Arnold: And we're going to talk to the man who keeps you informed of the news on the West Side.

Nicole: We sure are. Until next time, I'm Nicole Meldahl.

Arnold: And I'm Arnold Woods.

Nicole: And this has been another episode of Outside Lands San Francisco. Thanks for being with us, history friends.

Ian: Outside Lands San Francisco is recorded by Ian Hadley. Content creation and media production at ihadley.com.

Nicole: To learn more about the Western Neighborhoods Project and more on San Francisco history, go to Outsidelands.org. You can also find us on social media at Facebook, which is outsidelands with an S, at Twitter, which is outsidelandz with a Z, and on Instagram, which is outsidelandz, [00:35:00] also with a Z. And check out our historic San Francisco images website at OpenSFHistory.org.

More Podcasts
  • Podcast # 144: Jordan Park

    The story behind the wide streets and stately houses of Jordan Park in the Inner Richmond (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Oct 18, 2015)
  • Podcast # 489: Boudin Bakery

    The oldest sourdough French bread bakery in the West dates back all the way to 1849. Nicole talks with Mike Giraudo about the history of Boudin Bakery. (Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast Jan 28, 2023)
All Podcasts...

The Outside Lands San Francisco podcast is also available as a subscription via iTunes and by RSS feed.

Save SF History