The Triumphant Return of Original Joe's


Dining room. Photo by Joey DeRuy.


At Original Joe’s; Deco mermaid. Photo by Joey DeRuy.

North Beach was buzzing over the weekend, and I think some older folks were popping a little more Lipitor than usual before heading over to check out ~ORIGINAL JOE’S~ new home on Washington Square Park. The restaurant, which dates back to 1937, tragically closed in October 2007 after a terrible fire ripped through the Tenderloin location (on Taylor Street). The Duggan family ultimately decided to move the restaurant to the space that previously housed Joe DiMaggio’s, and prior to that, the historic Fior d’Italia.

Kudos to the Duggan family (and Anthony Fish of Arcanum Architecture) for doing such a great job in integrating the classic OJ’s elements into the new location. The signature burgundy red booths were brought over (and some of the counter stools), redwood panels, Art Deco mermaids, a vintage neon exterior sign, and the exhibition kitchen counter is also in effect. There’s a separate cocktail lounge with a piano, two private rooms, and look for sidewalk seating in the spring. NBC shot this fun segment about the reopening.

On the menu: the same classic Italian-American style of dishes, like veal parmigiana, linguini and clams, and of course Joe’s special (I like it with an egg and Tabasco on top), plus some new lighter items as well. You can view the menu here. Classic cocktails include a Manhattan, Aviation, and Vesper; check out the menu here. Hours are Sun-Wed 10:30am-10pm and Thu-Sat 10:30am-11pm. Reservations will be accepted starting in a couple of weeks.