Inner Mission Beer Parlor Is No More; Hello, Shotwell’s!


Just received an interesting press release. The owners of beloved neighborhood watering hole Inner Mission Beer Parlor have decided to get more into the whole brevity thing. From the official statement:

The bar underwent many transformations in the 80’s and 90’s – El Trobol, Shotwell 59, and Thieves Tavern – before transforming into Inner Mission Beer Parlor, named by current owners David Hall and Tom Madonna, in 2006. “Very much the place we wanted to own, but the name Inner Mission Beer Parlor was a mouthful,” said Mr. Madonna. “We wanted to honor the history of the place but felt like four words in our name was three too many, therefore a name change was in order.”

Shotwell’s opens April 1st.


Shotwell Stroll

Shotwell Bummer

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32 Comments on “Inner Mission Beer Parlor Is No More; Hello, Shotwell’s!”

  1. Rhiannon Says:

    I love it when I leave a bar, come home, and MissionMission has posted about it. Makes my night. (now to fall asleep in a post-two-dollar-tuesday-stupor)

  2. johnny0 Says:

    I love the use of the old-timey MISSION 8-4104 telephone exchange name.

    For the record, exchanges in the neighborhood:

    64 MIssion
    82 VAlencia
    28 BUtchertown

    More here:

  3. ohmygolly Says:

    yeah but are they still gonna allow those filthy smokers inside?

  4. mike Says:

    ohmygolly: it’s been non-smoking for a while.

  5. David Says:

    ohmygolly, we’ve been non smoking for almost a year now! come on back

    ps: the InnerMission website is gone, it is now

  6. zinzin Says:

    who wants to form a punk band called 28 Butchertown?

    i can play the auto-harp.

  7. ohmygolly Says:

    re: nonsmoking indoors, awesome!

  8. daver Says:

    oh man I haven’t been there in a couple years solely because they allowed smoking indoors. I’ll definitely have to venture back!

  9. Allan Hough Says:

    Sounds like they should’ve issued a press release when they stopped allowing smoking.

  10. olu Says:

    smokers got the memo right away. we went through the seven stages of grief, and now its okay. the bartenders are cool enough to keep us going back, even if they are more haters now.

  11. bc Says:

    I hope my local pinball table’s don’t go along with Inner Mission. It seems like only the name is changing. Hooray!

  12. guero Says:

    haha…Johnny O…my mother still uses those phone exchange for old numbers. When I ask her for my aunt’s phone number…she says Valencia4-****. And like any old San Franciscan, she pronounces it “Valencha”. I’ve been saying “Valencia”the last 15 years now but I still say “Portola” rather than “Por-tola”. I don’t know why but “Por-tola” just sounds so wrong to me. As the Mission’s unofficial historian/cartographer, I think you should look into this “Valencia/Valencha” business.

  13. Eric Says:

    April 1st!? What if this is all an elaborate joke?

    Anyway I guess I’m really out of the loop, but this place was once called “Thieves Tavern”? Really? Because isn’t that a bar on 14th St?

  14. guero Says:

    Oh…never mind Johnny 0. I figured (googled) it out…it’s not just cause old people talk funny, it’s because there was busloads of Italians that lived and had businesses (i.e., Lucca Deli) on Valencia Street. In Italian, the c is pronounced “ch”. Hence Valencha. The page where I found it also mentioned that the Mission had it’s own accent that was very brooklyn-ish. I think my mom and aunt have remnants of it. They pronounce dog as “dawg”- it’s a little more subtle than a real brooklyn accent but it is there. Before I left for LA, 15 years ago, many people (non-SF natives) would ask if I was from Boston because of my “accent”! hahaha. After that, I became conscious of it and really tried to lose it.

  15. johnny0 Says:

    We can be co-historians!

    Yeah, I had seen references to that Mission accent before, and I heard quite a bit of Valencha at the St. Luke’s and Cesar Chavez planning meetings the other week.

    Which reference did you find? Here’s something from the Chronicle in 99.

    Those were the days when the Mission was a society apart from the rest of San Francisco. It even had its own, now-vanished accent. Mission people talked very fast, dropped the g’s from most sentences and ran words together. San Jose was always pronounced “Sannazay,” Potrero was pronounced “Potrera,”

    They note a new breed of immigrant in that article. Damn immigrants messing up those spanish names!

    Crap, we’re all immigrants. So say the Ohlone.

  16. Jen Says:

    I stopped in on Tuesday to see Dave – who was not THERE, by the way, but I digress ;-) – and provided the April 1st launch date is just an official on-paper thing, the pinball machines are still there. They’ve also got a handful of new beer. If you haven’t been in awhile (especially since the smoking ban), you should definitely stop by. Check out the new bench that they had designed for them to replace the MDF-inspired placeholder from before!

  17. guero Says:

    Johnny O..I forgot where I found it. it was from some old forum from 2006. Yeah and my parents speak similarly to that and so does one of my sisters and some cousins. I think the running of the words together is probably how “hella” came into existence. I’m quite positive it cam from here. I remember using it at least from the early to mid 80s. I don’t think the accent has completely vanquished. I think you can find it’s spread all over the bay area, like South City (South San Francisco), the east bay and even into Sacramento, where most of my mission district family colonized to. Also I think the former accent changed with the arrival for spanish speakers and perhaps now with the arrival of the techy,college educated kids it may just evolve into standard american suburban speak.

  18. Glenparker Says:

    It’s always been Valencha. That’s a good test to tell who’s a native and who is a carpetbagger. And Herb Caen always wrote “Sannazay.”

  19. johnny0 Says:

    Glenparker, I believe Candelario Valencia, after whom Valencia St was named, and all the Valencias that settled around Mission Dolores might disagree with your “always” comment. Their family name was originally spelled “Valenzia”.

    Let’s face it, we are all carpetbaggers.

    Apparently Herb Caen didn’t write very much about the Mission. But here’s a great quote on Sannazay, the city, from 1985:

    The main problem with driving south is San Jose, which threatens to become The Blob That Destroyed Northern California, if it hasn’t already. How can something so nothing go on so long! Sannazay, yeah. Sannazay is probably bigger than S.F. already but who cares. Nobody goes there. It’s simply “San Jose –Next 51 Exits,” or whatever, on the freeway and traffic keeps right on going, albeit at about five miles an hour. Smogville North. Off to the right I could see a vestigial skyline but nothing to get excited about. Now and then a plane seemed to be headed for what the road sign called “San Jose Municipal Airport.” I’ll give them some points for restraint there. It’s not “San Jose International.” Yet.

    The airport’s certainly bigger, but that’s about it.

  20. Andrew Says:

    In a nod to the old days the Valencia bus announcement pronounces it “Valencha and 18th Streets”.

  21. Glenparker Says:

    Johnny O by “always” I mean as long as I’ve been around; 50 years. I use the Valencha test on the current crop of carpetbaggers. And my definition of carpetbagger is someone who lives here but did not go to high school in SF. But that’s just MY definition.

  22. Zig Says:

    “Valencha” is how my parents still say it.

    My grandfather is Irish American born in a house in the lower Mission and he says the first time he left California for WWII people thought he was from Brooklyn.

    He is getting up there in years. I should document this before he passes.

    Is there anyone interested in this history?

  23. Mel Says:

    Zig – Yes – would absolutely love to hear more personal stories, history of growing up/raising a family in the Mission – old photos of the neighborhood if you’re willing to post them.

  24. johnny0 Says:

    @zig – HELL yeah. We’ll submit questions — interview him, record him, post it here. Scan any photos as Mei mentions.

    @Glenparker – no issues with the pronunciation, and fair enough on the definition as long as it’s revolving. 100 years from now they’ll probably be saying “41 6e 74 6f 6e 20 69 73 20 67 72 65 61 74 20 3a 29” anyway. The robots will be making 3D renditions of flickr, and Mission Mission will be taught in high school history.

  25. guero Says:

    Yeah Zig. You need to get on your Grand dad and squeeze all the history you can out him. You will never regret it.

  26. mamiel Says:

    Hi- I started trying to meet folks with this accent to document a few weeks ago, coincidentally. I am told that the former owner of Red’s Java house has a good old Mission accent. So does a writer for the Chron.

    At any rate, my mother in law was raised in Bernal. She says “youse” for you (plural). This is bizarre as hell to me because I was born and raised in New Jersey and I thought we were the only ones saying “youse”!

    Also, she calls Yosemite “YOZEMITE”.

    Please contact me to work on this project!

  27. Zig Says:

    Cool. I’ll see if there are any old photos I can scan and will ask him to confirm some stories.

    For anyone who has roots in SF that go way back check this directory out. My grandfather found his father on here.

  28. dave Says:

    Great discussion. For a few minutes I could think of San Francisco without having to think about overpaid hipsters twittering each other over the next pillow fight.

    Small world. guero’s blog brought me back to my old East LA neighborhood (Mt. Washington).

    And zig wouldn’t happen to be the same zigster who used to post at a travel forum five or six years ago, would it?

  29. Zig Says:

    Dave-that could be me. Was it Lonely Planet? maybe more like 7-8 years maybe.

  30. Adrian Says:

    Andrew beat me to what I was going to say–yesterday on the 26 Valencia, I noticed the automated voice said “Valencha”.

  31. […] was sitting inside Shotwell’s, my regularly mentioned favorite bar, when one of the bartenders, Dean, mentioned that he was […]

  32. emmie Says:

    What’s the history of this bar? I know it was a bar for a century, but what was the name of it back then?

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