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Established in 1934, The Horseshoe Tavern is affectionately referred to as just the "Shoe" and remains one of the oldest landmarks in San Francisco. The original owner of the Horseshoe Tavern was a man named Vic Ramos, who was a former US Marine and football player for the team that went on to become the 49ers. After refusing to sell the bar numerous times, a trio of local bartenders approached Vic with an offer. The trio often went into the bar to get to know Vic and the regulars. Vic’s main concern was how the sale of the bar would affect his long time regular crowd which was made up of elderly people that had been visiting the Horseshoe for years. The trio of bartending upstarts were Robert Walker and Brenda Turner, both were bartenders at the famous Pierce St. Annex and Stefan Wever, who came to the Horseshoe from a bar/club called Silhouettes, located in North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf, which was owned by the legendary bar personality, Patti Gray. Stefan and Robert would frequent the little dark dive bar known as the Horseshoe Tavern, which at the time was also referred to as the Wrinkle room or God’s waiting room. After owning, working and managing the Horseshoe for almost 38 years, Vic decided to sell the business to Stefan, Robert and Brenda. The trio made some minor changes--updating the juke box, adding pool tables, and hanging classic pictures of old time San Francisco to give it a real local feel. It worked. Although business was slow at first, it gradually picked up so at least the three owners could make a living. Today, Stefan is the sole proprietor of the Horseshoe and has been since the early 2000s. The Shoe remains a local favorite and is known for its down to earth clientele and wonderful bartenders. Although there are always new faces in the crowd, the Horseshoe Tavern remains much like it did years ago.


Photography: Joel Boroian   Design: Victoria Magbilang