Mister SF bids farewell to Martita Timiriasieff, an icon of the City’s dance community.

Blood Bank Resurrection

by Mister SF on 12/22/2022

>> In with the New!

While it could have made a good location for a San Francisco version of “What We Do in the Shadows,” the blood bank at 250 Masonic Ave., was instead acquired recently by the University of San Francisco. USF submitted plans this week to convert the blood donation center into academic space, its first major expansion in more than ten years.

For San Franciscans, the blood bank has long been a landmark for a familiar location in the City’s unofficial center. After all, it’s a few feet from the start of Central Avenue. Not to be overly sentimental about it, Mister SF supposes people have already started referring to nearby Target, anyway.

Restoring a Great House

by Mister SF on 09/14/2021

>> Splendid Structures

Splendid Structures don’t stay splendid on their own. Time and San Francisco’s weather takes their toll on Victorians great and small.

Workers install a new column on this NOPA area home. The column was created by SF’s own American Wood Turning, one of the few remaining mills in the Bay Area that craft columns suitable for restoring Victorians.

2247 Turk Blvd. as seen in The Great Houses of San Francisco, published in 1972.

Doorman Tom Sweeney, one of the most photographed people in San Francisco history, will retire from his position at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell Street, this week.

Since 1976, Sweeney has opened doors and hoisted luggage donned in his Beefeater costume in all weather. What was expected to be a summer job turned in to 43 years and 36 uniforms. Over those years Sweeney welcomed countless visitors to our City as its most photographed representatives, all without a newspaper column or an identical twin. Now a grandfather, the Richmond resident and native San Franciscan has no plans to relocate.


A year after moving into its headquarters at 415 Mission Street, Salesforce has opened San Francisco’s tallest building to all.

Everyone who loves the City should see the Transamerica Pyramid and Bank of America Building (2nd and 3rd tallest) AND the “Top of the Mark” Hopkins Hotel and Fairmont Tower (ex-Crown Room) all in the same view. (Also the Russ Building, tallest from ’27-’64!)

Sales Force Tower has opened The Ohana Floor atop Salesforce Tower in San Francisco to free scheduled public tours one Saturday a month. The program began Feb. 23. The 61-story, 1,050-ft tower opened for business on January 18, 2018.

From the archive: Above San Francisco


Marge Returns

by Mister SF on 12/20/2018

>> The San Franciscans

When the new Mel’s Cafe – a “concept” Mel’s Diner – opened recently at 1050 Van Ness Ave., Mister SF inspected the premises to make sure the portrait of Marge was placed in the restaurant. Marge was a real person who ran her own diner, Marge’s Place, near Ocean Beach before closing the joint and later appearing in the print ad seen here.

Shortly before she went to work for Mel’s Diner, Marge slung hash alongside a young Mister SF at Dudley’s Bar & Grill near the SF Hilton. Marge was extremely proud of her career as a proprietor. Her warmth and kindness also made her a memorable colleague. In fact, Dudley’s owner Dan Garcia actually ripped the phone out of Marge’s hand to fire me. Marge quit not long after. It was a good break for both of us! She was a proud lady whose legacy lives on.


Noe Awakens

by Mister SF on 12/23/2017

>> High on a Hill

Nestled in a cranny along the sidewalk at 233 Noe Street between Market and 15th, the Noe So Cute lemonade stand promises a reawakening. MisterSF recently noticed a decrease in activity at the whimsical landmark until we saw its latest offering, referencing the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

From treasure maps to power naps and gardening advice, all manner of goods and services have been offered at the unattended stand since 2012.

Noe So Cute became a Tumblr account and hashtag the following year.

Duboce/Castro neighbors maintain the lemonade stand despite vandalism such as this Bastille Day massacre.


Nash Bridges Turns 20

by Mister SF on 03/15/2016

>> Cinematic SF

Nash Bridges, the San Francisco-based cop show starring Don Johnson premiered on CBS 20 years ago this week. Seen here filming on Bush Street in 1996, Johnson and co-star Cheech Marin became fixtures on the streets of San Francisco even before the March 16, 1996 debut.

Nash Bridges ran for 122 episodes from 1996-2001. The show is remembered for its City locations, mostly seen from Bridge’s yellow 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible.

In early 2000, Johnson made headlines after he got drunk and hit on a woman at Mas Sake, 2030 Lombard Street, a Marina sushi restaurant.


2670 Geary Blvd. The Lucky Penny restaurant is scheduled to close at 9 p.m. tonight. A fixture at Geary Blvd. and Masonic Avenue since 1972, this used to be a Copper Penny Family Coffee Shop until its owner broke away from that once-thriving restaurant chain. Forty-three years later, fans of the dive, located squarely in the heart of the City, have come out in droves to savor the final breakfast – or burger and fries, “extra crispy.” The Lucky Penny will be razed and replaced with a seven-story mixed-use building to include condos, offices, retail space, and underground parking.

The Final Omelette.

The Lucky Penny became Mister SF’s go-to greasy spoon after Tappe’s Sutter Street Bar and Grill shut down in 2005. However, the atmosphere and food quality at the Penny have declined in recent years. Since spotting a mouse in the dining room earlier this year, we’ve been having our hash slung at Mel’s, 3355 Geary Blvd.

Now a veteran of several such closures of local favorites, Mister SF suggests that the Lucky Penny is reminding the gentle reader to enjoy everything while it lasts. There’s a penny for that thought somewhere, however, for the San Franciscan luck is always free.


Supervisor Aaron Peskin (center) reviews documents with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Angela Calvillo City and Attorney Dennis Herrera.

District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin took the oath of office in City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s City Hall office today, about an hour before the regular Tuesday meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Peskin, a fiery former Board president who last served as a Supervisor in 2009, was elected to the post in November over mayoral appointee Julie Christensen. Peskin’s victory is seen as a rebuke by voters of Mayor Ed Lee, and of his housing policies in particular. Peskin is a staunch advocate for tenant’s rights whose district is among the hardest hit by evictions. Lee was also reelected this year.

Peskin addresses family members, colleagues, campaign leaders and friends following his swearing-in as District 3 Supervisor. Before the end of the day, Peskin could count the spiking of a $30 million sweetheart land deal, which had been favored by the mayor, among his first official acts. Welcome Back.