If these wall could talk
If there’s anyplace you wish the walls could talk in San Francisco
, it's this place. Tosca opened in 1919, lived through Prohibition, the Great Depression, the Summer of Love, and the Beat generation. The jukebox played only opera tunes; and stories of the decades of debauchery would make a fly on the wall blush. The kitchen closed in 1953 yet the who’s who still slid onto barstools and into the red vinyl booths, among them Sean Penn, Francis Ford Coppola, Hunter S. Thompson, politicians and socialites, and many other famous and infamous types. When longtime owner Jeannette Etherege, who bought the bar in 1980, thought she’d have to close Tosca, award-winning restaurateur Ken Friedman and acclaimed chef April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig in New York stepped in. Tosca reopened in 2013, and for the first time in years, food is coming out of the kitchen. Chef Josh Even’s menu of Italian comfort favorites includes lots of pasta and red sauce, fresh bread, and the popular meatballs. The jukebox still plays some opera, too, but now has some rock ‘n roll mixed into the selection, and that old San Francisco mojo that inspired renegades and revelry still hangs around the bar.