House of Shields reopened in 2002 after a brief closure. Ditto in 2003.
Located in the Sharon Building at 39 New Montgomery, House of Shields
is a San Francisco institution dating back nearly a century. The legendary
jazz spot and restaurant features a menu of hearty dishes such as meat
loaf, swordfish, and steak, as well as character almost unchanged since
its 1908 launch by one Eddie Shields. Its bar, tile floor, and Victorian
fixtures are all original. The basement, a private dining room and wine
cellar, is a former speakeasy. In July, 2001 patrons found the historic
restaurant padlocked by the sheriff. Then owners Charlie Candau and his
wife, Audrey, were in arrears more than $300,000 in state taxes and other
debts. The new owner was Joseph Cala of the Cala Corporation, who said
he planned to maintain the joint's original character. Veteran San Francisco
mixologist Frank Rivas resumed his post at the bar, but Cala's House of
Shield closed again in mid-2003 after negotiations regarding a new lease
broke down between Cala and the restaurant's landlords. The next reopening came a few
months later in August, 2003.