The Washington Square Bar & Grill: Thanks for the Memories

We understand that new investors are planning on opening a restaurant/bar at the long-abandoned site of the legendary Washington Square Bar & Grill in North Beach.

As readers of Flags of Convenience may recall, this was the primary hangout and piano gig for the novel’s protagonist, Eugene Bryan.

Inspired by the prospect of a resurrected WSB&G, we went to our basement library to fetch a decomposing copy of The Square: The Story of a Saloon by Ron Fimrite.

The book still fascinates, especially when the author describes “the amazing catholicity of Ed Moose’s taste in cocktails:

“The boss might start his day with a revivifying glass of bitters and soda, then step up to a pre-luncheon champagne. He will polish off several glasses of cabernet sauvignon with lunch and then down a port afterward. If he is in an expansive humor, he might even have a postprandial pink gin or maybe some plain coffee with anisette. Then he’ll be off to the Press Club for a swim and a nap.”

We first be became acquainted with Mr. Moose when the Press Club was still a vibrant newspaper haunt.

It’s decline was a sad affair, but vestiges of the old place still exist in the University Club of San Francisco’s “Black Cat Bar.”