Farewell Favorites: Clown Alley

Pickles, whatever that is: 42 Columbus Avenue

R.I.P Clown Alley, Spring 2007.

From Mister SF, 2001: Shouts of "Hallelujah!" were heard all over North Beach in 1998 when Bill Pailhe reopened one of the City's favorite burger joints after a two and a half year absence. Back by popular demand at the corner of Columbus and Jackson, Clown Alley serves up great shakes, fries, and fresh burgers with all the trimmings. Founded by restaurateur Enrico Banducci - who gave his name to another local institution, Enrico's on Broadway - Clown Alley was named for the area where circus clowns gather before they enter the ring. Umbrella tables and bright colors further the motif. Banducci sold the joint to Pailhe's father who in turn passed the place on to Bill. The younger Pailhe operated the popular spot for the next 35 years before retiring in 1996, saying he was ready for something new. In the end, devotees of grease and salt got their wish. Two new restaurants failed at the location before Pailhe agreed to pick up his spatula and return.

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Copyright 2007 Hank Donat
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