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.
The interior of this North Beach institution is true to its name: it's a dusty museum of relics and sentimental objects collected throughout the alley bar's decades as a hangout for salty old men and young, thirsty drinkers reveling in its former status as a major headquarters for beatniks. Anything and everything can be found on Specs' walls, from Hindu statues to King Tut busts to painted-on turtle shells to an homage to Ginsberg's Howl and framed photos of Billie Holiday. On the bar, you'll see a box of tattered postcards sent to the bar from lovelorn patrons scattered across the globe. Order a basket of cheese and crackers and wash them down with an ice cold Olympia or a Sidecar. if you're lucky, you'll catch someone plunking out a tune on the bar's old piano.
Specs, 12 William Saroyan Place, 415-421-4112
Photography by Joseph Schell