The location of San Francisco’s second oldest continually operated saloon finally has a plaque. Elixir, located at the intersection of 16th and Guerrero, now wears a handsome plaque explaining the location’s history on the building’s 16th Street wall.

Elixir plaqueElixir
Historians have determined that since 1858 there has always been a saloon operating on the corner in one form or another. The plaque was presented on March 18 by The Ancient and Fraternal Order of E Clampus Vitus. The organization is committed to the preservation of the heritage of the American West with a focus on sites that might be overlooked by traditional historical societies.


The plaque reads:

This is the second oldest known continually operating Saloon location in San Francisco and a centerpiece of the Mission Dolores neighborhood. On this site Francis Daneal’s “bar-room” was listed in the 1858 edition of the San Francisco Registry. Right at this corner in 1851 is also where the Mission Plank Road began, making it quite possible that a saloon was here earlier than 1858. Research has shown that this location has changed ownership and names throughout the years but has always remained a drinking establishment. Owners of note from the past include Francis Daneal (1858-1875), Hugh Mooney (1875-1893), Patrick McGinnis (1893-1933), Thomas Sheahan (1934-1938), Florence and Swede (1966-1984, and William Carlson/Birute Cassidy (1990-2003).

McGinnis rebuilt the place after it burnt down during the 1906 Earthquake by building it inside a grandiose building designed by Brainerd Jones which is the basis of what we see today. The location also survived “The Noble Experiment” of prohibition under the auspice of a “soft drink parlor.”

In 2003 H. Joseph Ehrmann bought the place and closed its doors in order to restore the saloon to its original Victorian glory whose design lay buried under nearly 100 years of use. After it reopened under the name Elixir, it became a pioneer in the revival of cocktail culture, and eventually earning recognition as a San Francisco Legacy Bar in 2011.


For more on the story behind the bar and the plaque check out Mission Local’s interview with current owner H. Joseph Ehrmann.

Elixir with plaqueElixir

[Featured Image from Elixir’s Facebook Wall.]

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