Retro resto blast from the past and more from

Here‘s a blast from before the bust of ’01. When Slanted Door used to be on Valencia and places like Mangiafuoco on Guerrero used to offer basic Italian grub and grog (“It has chianti and what else do you need in an Italian restaurant”).

Benders was Sacrifice, serving up rum ribs and voodoo pasta in a tiki setting (“Don’t ask about how this purgatorial “tiki lounge” fits in, it just does”).

Booze was referred to as liquids and Amnesia charged a whopping $2 for live shows. Over at The Uptown a good jukebox was defined as one stocked with Dylan and Morphine, but beers were $3 and the dude next to you could probably tip you off on a well priced nitrous tank.

The current de-gentrified Club Veintiséis on Mission near 26th was the gentrified 26 Mix, a “sound bar” offering up a high quality listening experience while you sipped on your suds à la Tokyo style bars which feature a premium soundsystem and choice djs.

Bonus interview with dj Spesh aka “dj Special K” of club QOÖL fame right here, who will surely get a kick out of this decade old frosty picture we’ve unearthed.

12 Responses to “Retro resto blast from the past and more from”

  1. Santiago Chilli says:

    Funny, I was just looking up my old friend, who ran the 16th Note (Now the Kilowatt, previously The Firehouse and The Compound), and was reading this Wiki blurb:

    1980s: West Coast

    In 1980, Parkin moved to San Francisco, where he quickly found a home in the emerging punk rock community which was centered in the city’s Mission District. In 1981, he opened Dead End Fashions, the West Coast’s first punk clothing store. (One of his early employees, Billy Gould, went on to co-found and play bass for the experimental alternative rock group Faith No More.) During that time, Parkin also published a weekly Bay Area guide to punk music performances at both underground and established venues.

    In 1984, Parkin opened his first nightclub, The 16th Note, in a vacant San Francisco firehouse on 16th Street in the Mission District. It became the city’s first hip-hop and world music night spot. (The Secret History of World Music by Charlie Gillett credits Parkin, along with World Music DJ Jonathan E., with coining the genre term, Worldbeat.) The Mission was also the home to a large Central- and Latin-American population, which provided Parkin with exposure to many types of Latin music and associated dance forms.

  2. Santiago Chilli says:

    While we’re at it, more 16th and Valencia lore:

    Robert Hanrahan, manager of the The Offs discovered the San Francisco Club for the Deaf, and was able to rent it on a nightly basis.

    The first show as the Deaf Club on 9 December 1978 featured the Offs, The Mutants and On The Rag. Over 100 bands such as Northern California’s The Units, The Zeros, Crime, The Dils, Flipper and Southern California’s The Bags, Alleycats, The Germs, X and Dinettes would play this small underground club.

    Given the unique nature of the venue and its location in the Mission District near 16th Street and the Roxie Theater, it was enthusiastically supported by the punk and arts community, visited by film greats like John Waters and occasionally challenged by the officials of the San Francisco noise abatement patrol, the police, fire department, health department and the alcohol and beverage control until it closed.[citation needed]

    The house DJs were Enrico Chandoha who worked on the editorial staff of the early Thrasher Magazine; Jack Fan (an Offs road manager and chef at the Zuni); BBC celebrity Johnnie Walker; and Robert Hanrahan.[citation needed]

    About such venues, Brendan Earley of The Mutants comments:

    “The earthiness, I guess, of playing places like the Deaf Club seemed to have a lot more energy to them. You know the crowd that started coming to this music in ’77, it was maybe a peak of their scene, or the scene at that time. They were not normal kinds of clubs, they weren’t places like the Stone, or even the Mabuhay, really. They were neat places to play; often good audiences, and good energy going on.”[1]

  3. Santiago Chilli says:

    OK – Last one for Valencia…my favorite spot in the day:

    Valencia Tool & Die, abbreviated as VT&D, was a 1980s San Francisco music venue and art gallery that presented punk, new wave, and new music performances, as well as performance art, film, and visual art shows from 1980 through 1983.

    Valencia Tool & Die (VT&D), which to a passerby appeared to be an empty store front with no signage to identify it other than the street number, was located in the Mission District at 974 Valencia. The interior space consisted of a street level gallery/performance space and a subterranean cellar performance space. The cellar space was reached through a trap door and a narrow staircase, which led Damage Magazine publisher Brad Lapin to label it “the black hole of Calcutta.” Performances often took place on both levels simultaneously, and usually featured Bay Area talent. VT&D was often open after hours and many of its best performances took place after San Francisco’s 2 a.m. curfew in the cellar performance space which had been insulated with sand to dampen the sound. VT&D’s location was only a few blocks from the Valencia police station, but the after hours performances continued uninterrupted for the first two years. During the third year the club was overrun by hardcore punks who made the location more conspicuous with graffiti and the club was closed for fire code and alcohol violations shortly afterward. Although VT&D did not exclusively book punk shows, most of the artists that appeared there ascribed to the DIY (do it yourself) philosophy of punk.

    By mid-1981 Valencia Tool & Die had begun to book hardcore punk and thrashcore shows featuring three bands for three dollars, a policy which had disappeared years before [elsewhere in San Francisco]. The Die was a street-level storefront with a semi-sound proof basement, a seven-foot ceiling crossed with pipes, and brick walls. The bands stood on the same floor face to face with the crammed sweltering audiences. Beer could be had for a buck, and gigs would last till the wee hours when bands like L.A.s Social Distortion or the DKs (Dead Kennedys) would appear unannounced. Upstairs people would drink, smoke, socialize, graffiti the walls, scream, fight or curl up for some sleep. Outside on the sidewalk there would inevitably be a dozen or two skulking kids in the nearby doorways, or leaning on parked cars while catching a breath of smokeless air.”[1]

    Bill Mandel in his article “In defense of punk rock: It’s the liveliest art-form of the ’80s”[2] went on to say of the Bay Area punk scene: “The clubs aren’t cushy, to say the least. Such venues as Mabuhay Gardens (still the purest), Sound of Music (heavy-duty punk), the (I-Beam, Dreamland, California Hall, the Russian Center, the American Indian Center, Valencia Tool & Die, and Berkeley Square, among others, are raw and industrial.”

    Tim Yohannon of Maximum Rock and Roll described VT&D several times in reviews of shows in the basement venue. In an article in August 1982 bemoaning the lack of hardcore shows being produced on Broadway Yohannon wrote “Outside of Ruthies (probably the best venue for H.C., the “guerilla” shows remain the most true-to-form punk. Gigs at Barrington Hall in Berkeley, New Method Industries in Oakland, and the occasional party at Valencia Tool & Die are the rowdiest (the heart of the scene) with a full cast of day-to-day regulars.” In another article reviewing a show at the Die he wrote “Great show! Lot of yahooing downstairs and lots of yakking upstairs. Plenty of people at this gig arranged by MDC, and the crowd was pretty friendly – no real fights (which seem to be on the decline), and a lot of women thrashing.”

  4. gregory says:

    and the deaf club is Borderlands

  5. Haz Been says:

    Sad that all the punk rock kids grew-up, had families and moved away. Modern day counter-culture has been co-opted by 22-yr old techies buying costumes at Urban Outfitters and standing in line for crepes :(