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Tosca Cafe

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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 still linger and live large around this North Beach haunt. 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. The rips in the checkerboard floor and booths were repaired, and the giant murals on the walls were relieved of their smokey film. 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 meatballs that aren’t on the menu, but everyone orders them anyway. The jukebox still plays opera, but now has some rock ‘n roll mixed into the selection, and that old San Francisco vibe that inspired renegades and revelry still hangs thick over the hopping bar.

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242 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
+1 415-986-9651
Sun - Sat 5pm - 2am