North Beach – signs of faded frolic

North Beach was alive with music & festivities over the weekend as the 53rd annual North Beach festival took over the hood. Aside from the officially sanctioned entertainment on outdoor stages, there were other little combos working indoors along the streets. The usual blues bands were rocking SF’s self proclaimed oldest bar, The Saloon where barflys buzzed around the doorway, and the unofficial beat community center Live Worms gallery even had a band playing for the art show. Amongst the other spots where bands played was the legendary corner bar the Condor, who recently were granted a permit from the entertainment commission. Of course, rumor has it, the benign live oldies band featured over the weekend, will soon give way to yet another adult themed strip/topless entertainment theme.

Meanwhile down a long lonely & empty stretch of Broadway, across from a boarded up pizza joint and shuttered Afghan eatery, a for lease sign hung on the spot formerly known as The Crow Bar. In the 60’s this location was called Basin St West where the likes of Ike & Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Ramsey Lewis and other jazz & soul greats once played, but now, much like the rest of fabled North Beach, is just a faded shadow of it’s former self.

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4 Comments so far

  1. TinMan (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

    I miss the Mabuhay Gardens.


  2. cd (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

    What’d they do about alcohol and the festival this year? They kept cracking down on booze in the Square, etc, which seemed lame. Still the same routine?


  3. anna (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

    There was 1 street block (union) that was kind of fenced off, where all the beer vendors were. Actually the drunk arrests this weekend were about a third of what the usually are. Nice to have non ticketed-free access to the general music/crowd area. I appreciated that.


  4. cd (unregistered) on June 20th, 2007 @ 3:32 pm

    Even when beer was allowed in the music area, in the Square, etc, it wasn’t ticketed nor did it cost anything. And sitting in the grass with a beer or a margarita rocking out to a local band was a highlight of my SF year. Too bad some couldn’t handle their booze and some residents couldn’t handle the once yearly event.



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