A San Francisco Legacy
Inspired by infamous bootlegger Izzy Gomez, and founded by famed restaurateur Sam DuVall, Izzy’s has been a Bay Area tradition since 1987. Gomez’ original saloon in San Francisco’s Barbary Coast was a rowdy spot for locals from all walks of life; where true hospitality was valued above all else. Woven into the cultural fabric of the city, it was a place of alluring, illustrious lore and tradition. The Izzy’s of today retains that same spirit; serving craveable food and drinks in a lively atmosphere. A convivial and dependable anchor for its community, Izzy’s welcomes all into its legacy - inviting loyal guests and new folks to dine with its history every day.
Here, stories are created and memories relived.
More about Izzy Gomez
Isadore "Izzy" Gomez was a Portuguese immigrant, chef and restaurateur San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood.
Gomez left his home in Portugal when he was 18 and made his way to San Francisco. According to his obituary, he arrived in the city penniless, and "friends said his unrecorded charities had kept him that way". He landed his first job as a "swamper" in a local gin-joint on the infamous Barbary Coast. He managed to save enough to buy a small bar at 848 Pacific Avenue. During Prohibition, with his Isadore Gomez' Café, he became known as the city's most beloved violator of the Volstead Act. In 1933, he served a 30-day jail term for bootlegging. Ten years later, in February 1943, Gomez received a presidential pardon. He was recognized by LIFE magazine as one of San Francisco's more colorful characters.
One of Gomez's great fans was the Armenian-American writer William Saroyan. His famous play The Time of Your Life is about Gomez and is set at Izzy's saloon. Saroyan wrote in his journals that Gomez's place was downtown, "not far from the old Montgomery block, across from the firehouse at First and Pacific". He went on to write:
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"Izzy Gomez's was something else. Unique. Sui generis. It really was as portrayed in The Time of Your Life, except that it was also a hangout for hard-boiled, sophisticated newspapermen...They gave the place a rowdy, slightly underworld character of half-suppressed brawl...For meals, Izzy served thick, luscious steaks, french fries, and salads. He gave a considerable number of meals and liquor out free, not just to starving artists, but to people he liked."
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Izzy's saloon was demolished in 1952. Today, Izzy's Steaks & Chops honors his legacy and continues to enrich the great city of San Francisco with the same passion.