As many of you know, I love the old school restaurants (as well as classic hotels, motels, original downtown storefronts, signage, mid-century modern and on and on). Original Joe's in San Francisco really meets all the criteria and has been terribly missed since it burned down in 2007. But that was not the beginning of the story. The first Joe's was called New Joe's and was located on Broadway in North Beach, having the first open (exhibition, as we call it now) kitchen. In 1937, after a falling out, one partner teamed up with Louis Rocca and Ante Rodin and opened Original Joe's at 144 Taylor, establishing a SF landmark.
Original Joe's is now re-opened at another famous address in North Beach, 601 Union Street, the former home of one of the oldest Italian restaurants in the US, Fior d' Italia. The restaurant sports an original sign on the outside, and original sign inside with a few fire scars for character, the exhibition kitchen with counter seats, most of the classic menu items, black jacketed waiters and the dark wood interior design of Joe's, including the burgundy-red booths, a few saved from 144 Taylor.
Stop in and say hello to Marie Duggan, the owner and her beautiful daughters and be greeted warmly like old friends returning for a long overdue visit.