Interior of Mauna Loa, 2020.
This March, we are continuing to highlight San Francisco Businesses that were part of Heritage’s original 100 Legacy Bars and Restaurants initiative back in 2013. This initiative was the first step in documenting the city’s vast commercial heritage and promoting businesses that did not necessarily qualify for formal historic designation. Legacy Bars and Restaurants directly inspired the creation of the city’s now existing Legacy Business Registry program, which now includes over 270 San Francisco businesses. For those who missed last month’s post, we highlighted Dianda’s Italian American Pastry, Grubstake, and Thanh Long.
Inside Mauna Loa in January 2020.
Anchored in San Francisco’s Marina District, the Mauna Loa first opened in 1939, just around the corner from its current location. Johnny and Marie Martin, a couple of Portuguese descent, moved from Maui to San Francisco in 1936 and married soon after their arrival. After struggling to establish themselves financially, the Martins were advised to try their hand in the bar business, as Johnny was currently employed as a cook.
Far East Café
Anchor Steam Brewery
Anchor Steam Brewery traces its roots back to 1871, when Gottlieb Brekle bought an old beer-and-billiards saloon on Pacific Street and turned it into a brewery. German brewer Ernst F. Baruth and his son-in-law, Otto Schinkel, Jr., bought the brewery from Brekle and renamed it Anchor. The building on Pacific was destroyed during the fire that followed the Great Earthquake of 1906. The brewery was relocated to the South of Market (SoMa) by German brewers Joseph Kraus and August Meyer, along with liquor store owner Henry Tietjen. Prohibition officially shut the brewery down until 1933, though some unofficial brewing may have taken place without a paper trail. In 1965, Fritz Maytag acquired and revived the struggling brewery at a time when mass production of beer dominated the industry. Maytag returned to a style of brewing that was first brought to California by Czech and German immigrants in the 19th century, producing lager beer at ale temperatures. He reformulated the beer’s ingredients, becoming the first in America to brew without adjuncts or fillers since Prohibition. This revival of steam beer inspired much of today’s craft beer movement and, in the 1970s, the brewery emerged as a pioneering company focused on micro-brewing. In 1977, the company moved to their current location, a former coffee roasting factory building that dates to 1937.
Exterior view of Anchor Steam Brewery after 1934 fire. Photo courtesy of the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.
Brewmaster Joe Allen inspects barrels at Anchor Steam, 1959. Photo courtesy of the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.
Anchor Brewing recently joined the Legacy Business Registry on June 24, 2019. Some of the bigger news surrounding Anchor Steam in recent years is that in 2017, the 124-year old company was purchased by Sapporo Holdings Ltd, the Japanese company that owns Sapporo Breweries and other subsidiaries. While Anchor Steam continues to be brewed in the same way that it always has been, a change that fans may have noticed since the acquisition is that their original, signature brew is for the first time available in cans.
Exterior of Anchor Brewing Company in Potrero Hill. Photo by Heritage Staff.