Well, I wasn’t the first to this story, so I’ll give credit where credit is due to my friends at Ocean Beach Bulletin. Our beach is different than most other beaches. Just about anywhere else beach front property is expensive and in high demand. In San Francisco, it’s the place where they put a lot of low income Section 8 housing.
You have to be born and raised here to find anything fun at Ocean Beach except on the few warm days we get out there when the beach is packed. It can be so nasty out there some days that I’d have to say it’s worse than Coney Island in December. It was so disliked at one point in 1980 that a group of condos were built on the remains of Playland at the Beach and nobody wanted them. I could see the value in the future and when they’re were trying to dump a four bedroom condo with an HOA of $25/month on people for $13k I wanted to use an early inheritance from an Aunt to purchase one. While my parents didn’t like the idea, they would now if they saw that they are selling for over $500k.
The Great Highway itself is kind of a mess. I’ve written letter upon letter that they need to do something out there. When I used to live closer to the beach and had to cross over from the Sunset to Richmond to do my grocery shopping I’m sure that’s part of the reason my car’s wheels needed re-alignment every six months. The asphalt was garbage and there were potholes everywhere. With the passing of Playland at the Beach there was only the Beach Chalet and Safeway to go for shopping out there.
I’ve been using social media to try and get some food trucks out there on nice days. They wouldn’t really compete with the Beach Chalet and give visitors more choices. They could use a little something more out there to bring people out to the beach, but you also need nice roads with median lines you can actually see.
The part of the Great Highway that runs from Lincoln Blvd to Sloat also needs work especially to keep some of the sand off the road which closes it down frequently. I read that they’re planting a new median, but some more ice plant on the ocean side might help a bit as well. Work begins this week so keep an eye out if you drive around that area.
While I can’t take credit for it at least they’ll finally be doing something to get the place to look nicer. The redo will run from the Point Lobos parking lot where the Lands End Lookout is to Sloat Blvd and Great Highway. I’d really like to see some more added to the beach area to bring people out there. Now that we’re having climate change around the world we’re having less nasty days and more nice days, but the wind on the beach is still a bitch.
Francis “Lefty” O’Doul was born here in San Francisco. He is considered one of the New York Giants most colorful and popular personalities. He played in the Pacific Coast League as well as the Major League, where in 1929 he had a .398 batting average. It was the highest average of any National League outfielder in the 20th century.
Lefty was a highly respected coach and manager for the San Francisco Seals baseball team. He was a friend and team mate to the great players of our time, such as; Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, and Ty Cobb to name a few. Lefty was the man who brought two countries together after World War II. Lefty was credited for bringing America’s favorite past-time to Japan.
In 1958 Lefty O’Doul had an inspiration to open a restaurant bar in San Francisco where friends and family could come to eat and meet with sports stars, creating a unique environment where everyone was family. Over the years Lefty O’Doul’s restaurant has seen the likes of some of baseball and Hollywood’s greatest entertainers. We strive for quality food and quality service with the Old World Charm of baseball’s past. We feel that this is the way Francis “Lefty” O’Doul would have wanted it.
OK, enough with the by the book story. That’s off of their website. Lefty never got the chance to open the restaurant and his friends the Bovis family made his dream come true. Lefty’s has a wall that is a sort of mini museum to all the people who have ventured into this sort of Irish, sort of sports bar, definitely San Francisco establishment. This is the closest to an Irish pub that I’ve encountered in San Francisco and Lefty’s is definitely old school San Francisco.
When you go there expect a hof brau atmosphere. Lost of good food at a cheap price that’ll have you filled up for at least the next day or two. It’s the only place downtown where you can get dinner with a beer for $10. The food is good here and plentiful. The menu is a working man’s fare of roast beef, corned beef, turkey legs, ham or lamb shanks served up with potatoes and vegetables or sauerkraut. Of course being a San Francisco establishment named after an Irish baseball player it’s not unusual to find turkey enchiladas on the menu.
While it only got started in 1958, it still became a San Francisco classic fast. They cater to families having a special kids menu and when you go in expect to get your food quick. This is a good thing if you work downtown and only have a half hour for lunch. Lefty’s opens at 7am sharp and stays open until 2am. It’s one of the few places left downtown where an under paid working man [or woman] can get a good meal cheap. Make sure you try their signature Bloody Mary when you go in.
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