Saying Farewell to Two Legendary Ts: Lady T and Tosca


House cappuccinos at the ready. Photo: ©


Bartender at Tosca. Photo: ©

A bunch of Lower Haight folks were mourning the passing last week of the legendary Lady T, a well-known character in the neighborhood, whether she was freaking you on the dancefloor at Underground SF (I recall having a few turns on the dancefloor with her back when it was The Top) or busting some moves in your shop, just ‘cause. Haighteration and SFist posted homages with some fun anecdotes about this fiery and fun-loving lady. Let’s all bust an extra move in her honor.

Friday evening, I popped by ~TOSCA CAFE~ for a few adult beverages and potentially a final goodbye since it may close while I’m away in New Zealand. There’s no way I was going to leave town without having some quality time at that beloved bar (and have one more chuckle over my favorite bathroom graffiti, ever). Where else could you go for a civilized cocktail on a Friday night in North Beach, easily slipping in for a quiet drink at the long bar, shaken or stirred by a white-jacketed bartender?

My friend and I started with a round of Negronis, had dinner at the nearby Capo’s, and then returned for a couple of nightcaps: the famed house cappuccino and a White Nun, which was Carol Doda’s preferred cocktail. We chatted a bit with Peter Ridet (owner Jeannette Etheredge’s nephew and business partner), who said the bar will close once the liquor license transfer happens, which could be the end of this month.

New owners Ken Friedman and chef April Bloomfield will be doing some remodeling during the closure, and according to this interview with Grub Street, they are going to try to do as little as possible to the place (yay). For now, it’s about improvements, like replacing the back booths with real leather, fixing the floors, repairing one of the paintings on the wall with a slash in it, and since they will be adding an Italian-esque menu, updating the ancient kitchen is a priority. I’ll keep you posted as I hear more. And thanks for the years of wonderful memories, Tosca. I’ve had drinks with many of my favorite people at that special bar, something I hope to continue.