Farewell Favorites: Damon Runyon McDonald's
Picture a study in contradictions. In a city of French laundry, world class art, and great food lies the remains of an institution, the McDonald's at Powell and Market streets. The fast food restaurant with its huge dining room and location next to the cable car turnaround attracted the likes of all humanity. Retirees, veterans, tourists and travelers, the working poor, retail employees, office workers, homeless folks, and, as PJ Corkery of the Examiner says, "general strays and waifs," all found a place to refuel and relax here for 20 years until March, 2003. That it was the kind of place where people could be themselves removes all contradiction, making the McDonald's here a fitting San Francisco favorite. It even has a legacy. Before there was a McDonald's here, 33 Powell Street was the home of Moar's Cafeteria for nearly 30 years. Herb Caen included Moar's in a list of joints where a San Franciscan could find "the broken-nosers and the gamblers and the town characters who give Powell Street its Runyonesque flavor." (33 Powell later reopened as a Sephora fragrance store.)

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Copyright 2003 Hank Donat
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