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Sunday, March 06, 2005

SFist Reprint

staggering.jpgA weekly testament to how different the city looks though the bottom of a highball glass, by local barrespondent, Drew.

Lots of people throw the word 'legend' around nowadays. Seems like whenever we turn around, something else is being adorned with the term 'legendary', and usually those things that are granted this term have accomplished nothing more than surviving more than 10 years or so. Unfortunately, there's little room above the word 'legend'. We've never seen anything referred to as 'Super Legendary' or someone as an 'extra legend', so after 'legend' you're kind of stuck.

Persian Aub Zam Zam on Haight Street had a 'Super Extra' Legend behind the bar for many, many years. His name was Bruno, and if you ever went in while he was there, you would remember him. Maybe the single most bitter, gruff, cantankerous old coot to ever step behind the taps, Bruno dispensed 'justice' as much as booze and enforced his own law in a place where he was judge, jury and executioner. Amongst the things you would hear Bruno shout were; "Tables are Closed!", "Gin Martini's a martini, Vodka's for children", and "If you're gonna mix your drinks, there's many other bars on this street that'll help you throw up!". Bruno opened Zam Zam's whenever he felt like it, and was a hero to anyone who ever dreamed of creating the world's best martini and treating tourists and yuppies like garbage.

Well, Bruno passed on a couple years back, but Zam Zam's is still around, and despite not having a draw like Bruno at the bottles, it's still a great space. Tiny, moody, with nothing but old standards on the jukebox. And the people that now tend the bar still make one of the best martinis in the city. I legitimately feared that the place would be hipped up to appeal to people waiting for a table at 'Cha Cha Cha' or something, but thankfully, that just hasn't happened.

While you're there, raise a toast to Bruno. Just make sure you don't do it while sitting at the tables, because that section is closed!

Liver... Out!!



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