We're resurrecting an old series: Weird Art in Bars, in which we explore the wacky adornments on the walls of the city's favorite and under-the-radar watering holes.
Owned by the Keane family for more than 50 years, the sunny corner bar 3300 Club is a complete diamond in the rough in La Lengua. Populated by devoted regulars and rabid sports fans, this watering hole is a no-frills home away from home for many. It can be a place to pass a day away (there are so many windows, you basically feel like you're sitting outside anyway), or a spot to post up after work with friends. During important Giants games they serve free hot dogs and homemade chili, or if you're so inclined you can enjoy your beer with a bucket of fried chicken from nearby Front Porch.
One thing you'll instantly notice is the art hung on their walls. Clearly the work of a single hand, you've got plenty to feast your eyes upon while drinking: a tiger licking its paw, a portrait of a woman with a completely weird expression on her face, a 49er quarterback (Joe Montana?) in mid-throw, or a gorilla smoking a cigar with a beer in hand. Where'd it all come from? We decided to find out from Danielle, who was a regular herself before becoming a bartender there about three years ago.
Where did all this art come from?
He goes by Fritzy, because "Fritz" is his last name. I don't even know his first name! He's 87, and used to work at the bar. Now he comes in on Sundays. He brings in new paintings whenever he feels like it, and the owner just puts them up no matter what they're of.
Has anyone ever offered you guys money for any of the pieces?
He's sold a few of them right out of the bar, and he immediately replaces them with new ones. I have two at my own house.
Do people comment on the art? It's quite a conversation starter.
All the time, they say exactly what you said: "Where does it all come from? Who did it?" When I was just a regular here, I always thought the portrait of the girl (pictured above) was a really funny one.
3300 Club, 3300 Mission St. @ 29th, 415-826-6886
Photos by Joseph Schell