Restaurants and Bars

The postcards on this page advertise San Francisco restaurants and bars.

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These Tivoli Cafe cards say the Tivoli dates from 1879. Pre-quake 1905 Crocker-Langley lists it at 16-18 Eddy, next door to the Tivoli Opera House (see 1895 Glover). It was at 50 Eddy after the quake, as on these cards. The cards are 5"x3", slightly smaller than standard 5.5"x3.5" postcards.

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San Francisco had a large German population and German restaurants were very popular.

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These four cards advertising the Hof-Bräu Cafe at 4th/Market are part of an unnumbered set of six postcards issued for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. (not shown:Hof-Bräu and Hof-Bräu). The front captions are in German.

1914 Crocker-Langley lists H.L. Hirsch as manager of the Hof-Bräu. The first Heidelberg Inn card above also lists Hirsch as manager, and Hof-Bräu card at right above is identical to Heidelberg Inn (not shown) except for the restaurant name/location.

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The William Taylor Hotel, built on the northwest corner of McAllister/Leavenworth in 1929, was the tallest hotel in San Francisco for many years. In the 1930s it became the Hotel Empire and its Sky Room opened in 1938, the city's first view lounge. This card must date from just after the Sky Room opened, as another example is postmarked 4/24/1939. The Sky Room offered a free portrait photo showing the skyline each weekday afternoon. Today (in 2021) the building, now called McAllister Tower, houses UC Hastings law students, with the Sky Room preserved as a student lounge.

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San Francisco once had many other elegant skyscraper bars with fabulous views, now most are gone (Carnelian Room at BofA, Cityscape at O'Farrell Hilton, Crown Room at Fairmont, Equinox Room at Hyatt Regency, Oz at St. Francis). Top of the Mark at the Mark Hopkins Hotel would stamp and mail a "private mailing card" for you if you could afford a drink there. It's still around in 2021, as are the Starlight Room at the Drake and The View at the Jukebox Marriott. (Update 2023: the Drake reopened post-pandemic as the Beacon Grand in 2022, and Harry Denton's Starlight Room is now Starlite.)

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Steve's SF postcard pages: