Farewell Favorites: Hamburger Mary's

1582 Folsom Street.
This one hurts. The original Hamburger Mary's has seen a lot of changes in the neighborhood of 12th and Folsom during its 29 years. Rose Christensen was a dishwasher and a prep cook and Amy Schloss was a line cook here before they were given the opportunity to buy out the original owner in the mid-'70s. Throughout morphing neighborhood character including a once predominately gay scene to the recent dot-com influx, Schloss says they kept the joint, "honorable to what Hamburger Mary's is - good food at a fair price in a fun atmosphere." So fun in fact that topless chefs were the norm until the 1980s. As for whom the restaurant is named, accounts range from Mary as a fantabulous drag queen of the day to Schloss's Zen take, "Mary is anyone you want Mary to be. We're all Mary." In April 2001, Hamburger Mary's served its last plate of home fries here, surrounded by antique memorabilia amidst the rock and roll music and pinball machine din of countless good times. May she rest in grease. 

(The restaurant at 1582 Folsom reopened as Harvey's and later as 12th and Folsom Restaurant & Bar.)

Copyright 2001-2003 Hank Donat
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