New and Venerable Institutions: Lefty O'Doul's
Lefty O'Doul's, 333 Geary Street, is among the last strongholds of old San Francisco. The hofbrau, piano bar, and local institution since 1958 is named for its founder, Francis "Lefty" O'Doul, born in San Francisco in 1897. Lefty pitched for the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals and briefly in the major leagues. As an outfielder he had several successful seasons with the New York Giants. Lefty returned to San Francisco to manage of the Seals from 1935-51 and was celebrated as a teacher of young players, including North Beach native Joe Dimaggio. After retiring from baseball he opened a lounge on Powell Street and later this restaurant in the heart of Union Square. Seven days a week, tourists and locals together can chow, drink, belt out a show tune or take in the old-school atmosphere, which includes a blow up of the I.D. of Marilyn Monroe, aka Norma Jean Dimaggio.

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