Last days of the Irish Mission

Reader David Gallagher of the Western Neighborhoods Project sent us these 1985 videos of a young Mr. Lucky interviewing some inebriated patrons of  Original McCarthy’s, which you may now know as Cha Cha Cha. Original McCarthy’s opened on Mission street in June of 1933.

[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

Nothing too exciting in the videos, but it’s an interesting snapshot of the era. Before the Mission was known as a Mexican neighborhood, it was largely populated by German and Irish immigrants until the ’60s. McCarthy’s was one of the last original Irish bars in the Mission. Even at the time of filming this, McCarthy himself remarks, “I’m close to 70. It’s about time to clock out.”

The interviewer, Mr. Lucky, still croons around town with his retro-jazz group the Cocktail Party. You can catch him at the Lucky Horseshoe in early August.

[thanks David!]

5 Responses to “Last days of the Irish Mission”

  1. I’m mesmerized by these now-extinct Mission accents.

    When did Original McCarthy’s close?,_San_Francisco,_California,_USA_(1933_-_1966_-_)

  2. metallicabreath says:


    Intense videobomb.

  3. Teotwawki Jones says:

    I speak in midwestern english but whenever I refer to my Irish roots I swing into a massive brogue. Just like Maria Hinojosa on NPR but without the paycheck.

  4. DirtyBelle says:

    known as a Mexican neighborhood?