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View Full Version : Regular Dinner and Show Restaurant in SF


wagegoth
09-08-2006, 10:05 PM
After The cat whisperer's post, I was reminded of this restaurant in SF I used to go to a lot. It's called Original Joe's. Now, there are several Original Joe's (I don't know why), but this is the real, original one. It's located in the Tenderloin in SF. This is the bad part of town north of Market Street.

The restaurant is very popular because it's open until 1:30 a.m. (not common in SF), the food is great, prices are great, it's a block from Market, and there's a parking lot right across the street (very rare).

The place is very interesting, especially late at night. The maitre d' is also the bouncer, so the guy is big, though always in a suit. I've been there when he's given a guy the bum's rush. Very impressive. The waiters wear black jackets, ties and cummerbands over starched white shirts. Behind the counter is the open grill, and the griller wears the full cook's outfit, including toque.

One night, after attending a play, my first husband and I stopped for dinner before heading home. It was about 11:00 p.m. We sat in a small booth on the same aisle as the counter. At the counter were two men in their fifties, talking, not friends, but passing time.

Then it begins. In walks a pimp, yes, a professional. With him is one (maybe his only, he wasn't dressed very fly) girl. They take a booth a couple down from us and wait for the waiter. We then find out that one of the guys at the counter is a retired cop, who takes offense to the new couple. Our booth is between him and the couple. I look at my husband; he looks at me. We duck down a bit and keeping eating.

The cop gets louder. No swearing, but comments on the pimp, the girl (who is obviously on heroin, and spends the entire time sitting quietly with a dreamy look on her face). Included in the comments were remarks based on the pimp being black and the girl being white. I start eating faster. I lean across the table and whisper, "Should we change tables?" Hubby just smiles and continues eating. He was a big guy, played semi-pro football and knew his way around a fight. I relax a bit, and continue to enjoy my meal.

I glance at the counter and the other guy (who looks blue collar) who'd been conversing with the ex-cop is leaning way back from his seat (also between the ex-cop and the couple) and looks to be considering his options.

Finally, the bouncer comes out of the kitchen and sizes up the situation. He's not stupid. He doesn't want to toss out the ex-cop, because they want to stay in good with the force. He doesn't necessarily want to toss the pimp, because the guy's being quiet, taking it, and just wants food.

The pimp looks at the bouncer, looks at the cop, then finally takes the girl by the arm and leaves. After he leaves, the bouncer talks quietly to the ex-cop, just the general, "Please, just keep it down, okay. We've got other customers. But we really appreciate your business . . . ."

Great meal, problem ended calmly, not bad.

wagegoth
09-08-2006, 10:11 PM
These events happened on other nights we went to Original Joe's:

One night we looked up at some noise to see two young Asian men having a knife fight right outside the front door.

Another night, there were suddenly a bunch of police cars and a motorcycle unit at the parking lot (where we had parked) across the street, lights, sirens, surrounding a man who was leaving the lot. This went on for about 20 minutes. Turns out the poor man happened to be driving a car that matched the description of the vehicle involved in a robbery and shooting that night.

Also, there were several adult bookstores and peep shows on the street. Mixed with the druggies and winos, it made for an interesting street show.

Good old Joe's.

ditchdj
09-08-2006, 10:37 PM
Well they just passed a law there banning ALL guns so I'm sure the Asian guys decided to have it out with knives instead since I'm more than sure they didnt wanna end up doing time for getting caught with guns and all. :lol:

Mark Healey
09-11-2006, 01:55 AM
After The cat whisperer's post, I was reminded of this restaurant in SF I used to go to a lot. It's called Original Joe's. Now, there are several Original Joe's (I don't know why), but this is the real, original one. It's located in the Tenderloin in SF. This is the bad part of town north of Market Street.


Are you sure? I grew up in San Jose and there has been one there as long as I can remember (at least as early as the late sixties).

wagegoth
09-11-2006, 03:43 AM
Are you sure? I grew up in San Jose and there has been one there as long as I can remember (at least as early as the late sixties).

The one in the Tenderloin dates back to the 1930s. According to everything I've read, it is the original.