Gino and Carlo in San Francisco was established in 1942 and a family operated saloon for more than fifty years. The North Beach bar on Green Street has always been known for their cheap drinks, easy vibe and great characters. Frank was a sweetheart behind the bar–low key, mellow and knew your name. Carol Doda would visit after her show sometimes. Pool players and fantasy-sport enthusiasts also gathered here. There might even be a guy hanging out in the shadows with a fedora on, a Godfather waiting to be received.
I remember this time when I got into a conversation with a regular, an old-salt Italian. Let’s call him “Alfredo”. Alfredo started telling this tale about how he was dining at a neighborhood eatery/bar when the owner approached and suddenly collapsed.
Gino and Carlo:
The gentleman died right there in front of Alfredo’s booth. Alfredo turned and said to me, “You know what, John, I had to walk over the S.O.B. to get to the bathroom. Some nerve, huh?”
Years later I accidentally ran into Alfredo while I was working behind the register at Northwood Golf Course up at the Russian River. He strolled in with two behemoths. These guys must have weighed 300 pounds each, six-foot-five, and wore starched white T-shirts, black slacks and black Oxfords. In a soft, even tone, Alfredo asked me politely if there was a chance he could get out to play some golf. I asked how many players would there be. Alfredo said just himself, that he liked playing alone with the exception of his two compadres who would be just riding along. I gazed over at the two hulks, the pair standing stiff with arms folded and said that there would be no problem. Gino and Carlo is a great bar, great color and great stories. Don’t miss out!