The most historic watering hole in Union Square is facing eviction and may be forced to close by March, unless powerful forces intervene. The Scoop confirms that owner of the Gold Dust Lounge, Tasios Bovis, is appealing to the City, but as it stands the landlord wants the bar out within three months in order to give the space over to a “big Chicago-based clothing company.” The space has been a continuously serving bar since about 1906, despite the current marquis that says it’s been open since 1933, just after Prohibition.
During Prohibition, the bar may have stayed in business like a number of other similar institutions in S.F. by serving “medicinal beverages” like Fernet-Branca, or tossing clandestine shots of whiskey into mugs of coffee (another common practice).
The bar was known to be a frequent hangout of legendary newspaperman Herb Caen.
Since 1965, the Gold Dust has been owned by the Bovis family, and Tasios’s brother Jimmy owns Lefty O’Doul’s around the corner.
Stay tuned for any further updates, and we look forward to seeing whether fans of old dives like this one may rally to save it, like they did with the Tonga Room.