Today the Board of Supervisors will take their initial vote on landmark designation on two historic San Francisco bars. Sam Jordan's Bar is a Bayview institution, owned and operated by African American Navy vet Sam Jordan since 1959. The bar acted as a gathering place for the community, and Jordan himself ran as the first black mayoral candidate in 1963. Though he retired in 1995 and died in 2003, the bar is still run by his two children. Currently, there's only two landmarks associated with African American history (the Madame C. J. Walker House and the Leonard/Poole House) and only five of the city's 262 landmarks are in Bayview?Hunter's Point. The Twin Peaks Tavern is known as the first gay bar to feature full-length open plate glass windows, as opposed to hiding bar patrons behind shutters. It's recognized as a symbol of the gain in gay rights and liberties during the late 20th century. If designated, it'll be one of only 3 local landmarks associated with LGBT history (the other 2 being the Castro Camera/Harvey Milk Residence and the Jose Theater/Names Project Building).
The Planning Department says Sam Jordan's is eligible as a landmark for its "association with a person significant to our past," and Twin Peaks Tavern for its "contribution to the evolution towards modern LGBT society and culture." The HPC agreed, recommending landmark designation for both bars. The Supes' Land Use and Economic Development committee also agreed, so with full board approval the sites will have official historic designation. Both have gotten support from the bar owners and their respective communities, so it seems like a no-brainer.
· Landmark Designation for 4004-4006 Third Street - Sam Jordan's Bar [SF Gov]
· Landmark Designation for 401 Castro Street - Twin Peak's Tavern [SF Gov]
· Previous Coverage of Sam Jordan's Bar and Twin Peaks Tavern [Curbed SF Archives]