Farewell Favorites: Marshall & Art Dong

301 Union Street
Speedy's, aka 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.

Copyright 2002 Hank Donat
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