The True History of Irish Coffee and Its San Francisco Origins

Bay Curious


From keady you're listening to bay curious. I'm katrina schwarz. Before we get to the show. This week i have a little favor to ask. Were pulling together an episode to mark the one year anniversary of the bay area's first shelter in place order and we want to teach your your stories about this past year. Maybe you learned that you love to dance or when through a break-up did living under cova bring your family together or make you feel further apart. Or maybe you've overcome a challenge. Bay curious producer susie rancho and. I have been asking ourselves the same questions suzy. How has your life changed this past year. A well for me. i think The big change was that i started to really appreciate living in san francisco. Unlike a lot of people who wanted to move out as soon as they could for me my world got very small like a lot of other people and I live near golden gate park. But i really took it for granted. And they're just so many spots in golden gate park that i never been to even though i lived on both sides of the park for a lot of years and i just learned how to appreciate the city in a way that i you know. Basically didn't have time for before. So what about you katrina. You know honestly. I feel like i've gotten old in the past year. I used to be really busy. I had something. Every night of the week. I was out. I almost never home until nine pm. Either at the gym or meeting up with a friend or doing things frisbee team and you know all of those things have been kind of stripped away and so now. I'm home all the time i like. You know go for a walk after work. I watch jeopardy. i like. Don't go out. And i feel like just in a very short time. I went from believing of like that. I would never become an adult. You know never really settled down and wanna do adult things to really embodying that lifestyle. And it's been kind of a weird experience for me because i was slow to let go of all of that other social stuff that i had going on. So we've both have really different experiences of this but we want to hear from you all our listeners. About what you're going through this year record or cova story on your smartphone and send it to us at bay curious at k. Q. e. d. dot. Org or call and leave us a message at four one five five three three three three four. I'm excited to hear from you. Okay onto the show. This week. We are revisiting. A baker is classic that first aired in two thousand seventeen. It was recorded before anyone had heard of the pandemic time when people could sit snugly elbow to elbow at a bar knowing all that coming up support for bay curious comes from sierra nevada brewing company family owned operated and argued over since nineteen eighty proud supporter of independent thought whether that's online over the air or in a bottle at sierra nevada dot com. It's been a chilly winter and with saint patrick's day just around the corner. We thought it would be a good time to snuggle. Up with a san francisco classic. Olivia is going to take it from here. Today of vista cafe the famous purveyor of irish coffee in san francisco. I'm here with reporter. Kelly o'meara high and our question asker hi. I'm sarah russell from speech. Irish coffee is the drink to get here and sarah. I know you've got a question about it but before we get to that. Shall we get around steam hot last with water poured out putting two surgeries in there and their brass crabby stirred up my bob marley stirred up and then he put your hours risky in their. Hello nice cold cream heavy cream and they you gotta fall to drink these in the name of research reporting. Righty sarah tell us. How would you describe that first. Taste of irish coffee creamy yami silky. Good you know Confession i've never had an irish coffee before. This is my first one. It's amazing but we didn't just come here to drinks. You actually had some questions you want answered to. I know that my mom used to come. Here she She worked for city of paris which longer exist. but it was the macy's it was the department store on union square and so she and her friends would come down here. I was always told that the irish coffee was invented. Here and this place in san francisco. So it's curious if that's true this week on curious. Irish coffee possibly been invented in san francisco. We headed into the back room at the point vista to learn how irish coffee ended up here. It was not originated in san francisco. It was introduced in san francisco to america. So my name is leah. And i've been a waitress at the winner mr for fourteen years. The buena vista doesn't actually claim that irish coffee was invented. Here they say that. It was introduced to america. Here leah set the seat. It was nineteen fifty two and it was e a dark and stormy night november tenth to be exact and the owner of one of staff. The time has name was jack kepler and he was behind the bar and sitting at the bar was a fellow named stanton. Della plane stanton belva plain. It's very well known in the san francisco bay area. He was a travel writer. We'll look who. It is stanton della playing deadline time at the chronicle another day and other deadline. I've travelled far old jack. Pour me a martini. Will you not one of them. I risk drinks. You keep writing about gaelic coffee If only no one makes like the irish. I could tell you just coffee. Whiskey and green simple. No no i cannot speak any higher of the irish coffee smooth as nectar and how. The steam rises through the collar of cream. The real trick is to make the cream float if the irish can do it. Let me put on a fresh pot of coffee and give it a go. They tried it. Try different glasses. They tried different whiskies. They tried everything they could think of. The cream kept falling down to the bottom. Don't know how many more of these i can drink. Jack never heard a newspaper man complain about too much drink. But this cream keep sinking. What are we doing wrong. Damn divino guess. You'll have to fly to that airport in ireland. Ask the cook joe. Sheridan just might keppler got so obsessed with this. He actually flew to ireland. Met joe sheridan. Who was the fellow who was not the bartender at phones at the time but i worked in the kitchen you job sheridan the joe sheridan who invented. I wish coffee while yes all yelm. It wasn't ten years ago back. During the war pan arab passengers cayman chevron late one night fit to die with shirley. I taught we must event a stirrup corp for the poor soames have what is more warming than oil-rich whiskey. Smooth is a maiden skews. Nothing i can think of to take the chia. We feel the glass with coffee. Black as cromwell's heart topped off with a flow turning chinmoy rich cream but the cream. How does it float octavia child. The weapon so

Coming up next