Stumptown Daze, a 1960 romance comedy novel, starts on the east side of Telegraph Hill near Julius Castle.
In 1924, less than a year after construction on the Castle began, food service was under way, establishing Julius Castle as among the oldest San Francisco restaurants at its original location with its original name.
This amazing structure combines fairy tale elements, such as pointed arched windows and medieval-style battlements on the upper balconies, all mixed with Gothic Revival and Arts-and-Crafts influences. Interior wood paneling was reputedly purchased from the city’s 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition.
At the time, Montgomery Street was little more than a dirt trail wide enough for one vehicle. Because the street was so narrow, a turntable was installed in 1931 at the dead-end in front of the castle and an employee turned cars around and parked them. During Prohibition, Julius’ Castle became a speakeasy for the carriage trade. It has been a popular celebrity hangout for local politicians, musicians such as Huey Lewis and Hollywood actors, including Robert Redford, Cary Grant, Sean Connery, Marlon Brando and Ginger Rogers. Even famed Mount Everest climber Sir Edmund Hillary was a patron. At the present moment, however, it remains closed and seemingly abandoned after operating as a restaurant for more than 80 years.
Image from FoundSF.org.