301 Union Street
New Union Grocery, was a corner market at Union and Montgomery for 80 years
before brothers Marshall & Art Dong retired at the end of January,
2003. The Dong brothers owned Speedy's for 25 years. Art, who worked for
the previous owner for ten years, was the inspiration for delivery boy
Lionel Wong in Armistead Maupin's Tales
of the City. Since it was he who sired Didi's twins, Lionel - and Art
Dong by extension - is the father of the next generation of "Tales"
characters. Twin Anna appears in Maupin's 2000 novel, The Night Listener.
Speedy's is more than just a package store, it's a community outpost and
a true Telegraph Hill institution. The name Speedy's comes not from fast
service, but from Art's former employer, the Spediacci
family. Angelina Spediacci was on hand to
congratulate the brothers on their retirement at a party at the old Shadows
restaurant down the block. Speedy's owner is a Telegraph Hill neighbor,
Brian Leonard. More than 200 people came out to celebrate Marshall and
Art. The sentimental hill dwellers say they'll even miss Marshall's
treasured auto, which sat like a sentinel at Union and Montgomery for
so many years.