Historic Mission District bar recently named Legacy Business in San Francisco

Last month, Pop’s Bar at 2800 24th Street was named a San Francisco Heritage Business, adding it to the current list of more than 120 heritage restaurants, bars and shops recognized across the city.

Rumour has it that Carl Joseph Saxsenmeier, known to many as “Pop”, ran a club that served alcoholic beverages during Prohibition. Although no confirmation of this has ever been made, Saxsenmeier is often described as a pirate — an individual who illegally distributed or sold alcoholic beverages during Prohibition.

After Prohibition officially ended, the five-time alcoholic opened Pop’s Bar on 24th Street in 1937. Since then, the bar has welcomed the bar with cocktails, spirits, beer and wine for customers looking to quench their thirst in simplicity.

Customers ordering at the bistro will now be at one of SF’s newest legacy businesses.

“Pop’s Bar is a gathering place for a vibrant and colorful blue-collar community,” reads a description of the bar in filings for its Legacy Business certification. “We’re open every morning at 6 a.m. for cemetery shift workers who just got off work. Pop’s Bar is the living room in the 24th Street corridor.”

The Legacy Business Program was established by San Francisco in 2015 to recognize and protect businesses across the city that have long served the community. To be included in the traditional business registry, program applicants must demonstrate that they have operated in San Francisco for at least 30 years and describe how they have contributed to the history and identity of San Francisco. If the business’s application is successful, it will receive a place in the city’s registry, and its landlord can receive the benefit of keeping the business in place through a long-term lease.

On September 12, Pop’s Bar received official certification as a Heritage Business in San Francisco.

“Pop’s Bar serves a range of communities living in the area, including speakeasy bars in the 1930s, Irish post-World War II trapeze bars in the 1940s and 1950s, and the current Calle 24 neighborhood,” the bar said. “The company has been adapting its services and targeting customers to better serve their communities based on the business owners at the time.” During the height of the pandemic, Pop’s Bar had local artists and designers design and create their outdoor spaces Seating area and small park.

Pop’s Bar was sold to Jack Pryal in 1941 by Saxsenmeier. It has changed hands several times over the decades and has been owned by Michael Spike Krouse and Tom Tierney since 2014.

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