Powell Bush Turk Eddy Polk Mason Post Taylor

While feeding my phillumeny habit recently I had a lucky strike with these terrific vintage Japanese made matchbox labels of businesses in and around San Francisco. All are from around the 1900’s, so most of these places are long gone but who knows, maybe someone out there has some stories or more info? These were tiny images as I found them so I’ve had to give them a bit of the ol’ rezzing and razzing.

A vintage Matchbox Label for Black Cat Cafe at Eddy and Mason streets in San Francisco
Japanese Match Company – Label for Black Cat Cafe at Eddy and Mason streets in San Francisco

This one is a beauty, Black Cats were very popular in the 1900s. And as luck would have it there still is a Black Cat at this location.
From the Black Cat‘s website:

The Black Cat is located in the historical Verona Hotel (1910), Black Cat (originally 1906) has been given a rebirth as a restaurant, bar and live jazz venue in the heart of the Tenderloin of San Francisco.

A vintage Matchbox Label for Excelsior Beer made by The Santa Cruz Brewing Company
Japanese Match Company – Label for Excelsior Beer made by The Santa Cruz Brewing Company

Unfortunately the Santa Cruz Brewing Company appears to be gone but judging by the results that my searches returned, beer brewing is alive and thriving in Santa Cruz! Good job Santa Cruz.

A vintage Matchbox Label for a Taxi service at Polk and Bush Streets in San Francisco.
Japanese Match Company – Label for a Taxi service at Polk and Bush Streets and Powell and O’Farrell in San Francisco

I got a few hits on Fay C. Beal, a popular bloke by all accounts…

Fay Beale Wedding and Work
1906 Fay’s Job in the gossip column and a 1910 Wedding Announcement announcement. Found at Newspapers.com
A vintage Matchbox Label for Owl Bar on Golden Gate near Van Ness St in San Francisco
Japanese Match Company – Label for Owl Bar on Golden Gate near Van Ness St in San Francisco

There is The Owl Tree on Post and Taylor—not to be confused with The Owl posted above. Straight Foods a Specialty? No comment. The poor owl is more tawdry than tawny.

A vintage Matchbox Label for Daunet and Rowley's Essex Bar on the corner of Larkin and Ellis Streets
Japanese Match Company – Label for Daunet and Rowley’s Essex Bar on the corner of Larkin and Ellis Streets

The Essex Hotel is still there and is one of SF’s low income/affordable housing initiatives.

A vintage Matchbox Label for The Pup Cafe Cabaret at Turk and Taylor streets in San Francisco
Japanese Match Company – Label for The Pup Cafe Cabaret at Turk and Taylor streets in San Francisco

I got nothing on the Pup Cafe I’m afraid. The way Cabaret Show appears to have been added as an afterthought I’m imaging a colorful scene of the sort that the Tenderloin has always embraced.

Japanese Match Company