Joe Rosato Jr. reports on the grand reopening of the new and non-improved Gold Dust Lounge, which opened just in time for the big game.
There’s an old adage -- you can never truly go home again. But the owners of San Francisco’s legendary Gold Dust Lounge bar might add their two cents to that thought; you always take home with you.
The old-time Union Square bar famously got the boot from its longtime location on Powell Street several months ago. So the owners took their ball and moved on – except in the case they also took the chandeliers, the paintings, and anything else they could grab.
On Friday, a stagecoach driven by Hollywood western star Stuart Whitman drove past the old Gold Dust, to anoint the new building on Jefferson Street in Fisherman’s Wharf. That’s where the owners painstakingly recreated the old bar, down to the distinctive marquee.
“It’s like a ghost almost,” veteran bartender Michael Bowens said. “The front is just like the old place. Down to the windows.”
The new bar also has the same exact gold wallpaper, familiar red bank heads and light fixtures from the old joint.
“The fixtures are all the same - the lights, the chandeliers at the back,” said general manager Mark Casey. “Everything’s the same, everything’s from the old place. Everything we could we could bring.”
Some will say you can recreate a building, but you can’t as readily reproduce what made it special – in this case the old bar’s funky cool charm amid Union Square’s shopping mecca.
“There was a certain magic about that place and you walked in and you just felt it,” said Bowens. “Hopefully we can carry it on over here and bring the magic to this new site.”