House of Shields reopened in 2002 after a brief closure. Ditto in 2003.
Located in the Sharon Building at 39 New Montgomery, House of Shields
is a San Francisco institution dating back nearly a century. The legendary
jazz spot and restaurant features a menu of hearty dishes such as meat
loaf, swordfish, and steak, as well as character almost unchanged since
its 1908 launch by one Eddie Shields. Its bar, tile floor, and Victorian
fixtures are all original. The basement, a private dining room and wine
cellar, is a former speakeasy. In July, 2001 patrons found the historic
restaurant padlocked by the sheriff.
Then owners Charlie Candau and his wife, Audrey, were in arrears more
than $300,000 in state taxes and other debts. The new owner was Joseph
Cala of the Cala Corporation, who said he planned to maintain the joint's
original character. Veteran San Francisco mixologist Frank Rivas resumed
his post at the bar, but Cala's House of Shield closed again in mid-2003
after negotiations regarding a new lease broke down between Cala and
the restaurant's landlords. The next reopening came a few months later
in August, 2003.