Bars are social places, definitely not social distancing-friendly. The Pour Guys restaurant group, owners of some of San Francisco’s best dive bars; have had to shut down three out of their four establishments, including Tempest bar, indefinitely.
But they’re making do with one hub that offers delivery and pick-up — the Showdown dive bar on Grant Ave.
I caught up with Tony, one of the owners; about the temporarily closed, iconic Tempest bar.
“It’s a divey everyman’s bar, been around forever.”
Before the Pour Guys purchased Tempest in 2010, it was one of the last smoking bars in the city. Prior to Tempest, it was called Hanos; but the original name was Page 1, an aptly named hangout for SF Chronicle journalists. Over the years, it evolved into a bike messengers’ bar and the decor has changed; but at its core, Tempest has remained the same.
“We want to keep San Francisco the way it is, save hidden gems. We’re continuing the previous owner Eric’s tradition.”
After its opening in 2010, the bar, which isn’t far from Oracle Park, rode the World Series wave and saw great success.
Now that it has closed due to the pandemic, Tempest fans are directed to Showdown if they want to keep supporting their favorite hangout. The North Beach location offers a la carte menu items such as wings and fries, cocktails, and weekly themed dinner kits that are personally delivered by Tony or his business partner.
“We have a lot of regulars and it’s good to see them when we do the deliveries.”
This week, the kits included smoked meat, cornbread, and s’mores for dessert.
The menu also includes a “staff appreciation” section that allows customers to order a meal or drink for a staff member.
When I asked about the initiative, Tony explained: “It’s not my style to do a GoFundMe save-the-business thing. The staff are the most important to us. We like the staff to be able to come down and have a meal so we can see them. We rather take care of the staff in our own way; keep the family part of the restaurant going.”
Pour Guys is currently open for pickup and delivery. While service through Postmates or Grubhub are available, the best way to support the business is by ordering directly via phone or the Pour Guys website.