From the SF Chronicle, an article about the closing of a North Beach restaurant that has been with us for over 80 years!
It’s an excellent only-in-Sa- Francisco story. Club starts out as a watering hole during prohibition, evolves into a neighborhood staple for over 80 years, and closes due to a landlord-tenant dispute.
A short excerpt of the article:
“The name was odd for a family-style Italian restaurant.
But then, so were the decorations: the stuffed moose head and the mounted marlin, the rusty horseshoes and the glossy football posters. Not to mention the thousands and thousands of dollar bills and business cards pinned by customers over the years to every square inch of the ceiling and walls. Even the moose and marlin were tagged.
But appearances can be deceiving. While it hardly looks traditional, the Gold Spike was often the place where people went to celebrate life’s moments.
Like all the first dates and birthday parties before it, the Gold Spike on Monday became another sweet memory. After 86 years in the same location on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco’s North Beach, the restaurant and saloon served its last supper and closed its doors.
Paul Mechetti, 60, the owner and bartender, cited a dispute with his landlord over who would pay for the retrofitting and plumbing repairs to the building as the reason for the closing.
Mechetti’s grandparents, Attilio and Natalina Mechetti, immigrants from Italy’s Tuscany region, opened the place in 1920 as the Columbus Candy Store and Soda Fountain, although soda was not the only drink served. Prohibition was on, and the Mechettis even back then knew how to treat their customers well. When Prohibition ended some dozen years later, the couple made it official and changed their business to a full-time saloon, with Natalina’s hearty cooking helping to keep customers healthy.”