John’s Grill – 63 Ellis Street, San Francisco

The hard-boiled glamour-grit of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler is alive and kicking at San Francisco’s John’s Grill. What the 2009 John’s may be lacking in dangerous dames and Sidney Greenstreets it more than makes up for in décor, historical presence and old-style steakhouse charm. Customers who wander in are greeted by lines of wooden honky-tonk styled piano chairs, white linen tablecloths, paneled oak walls, and – at least until 2007 – a replica of the famed Maltese Falcon itself. John’s Grill has been helping to keep alive the American underbelly represented so masterfully by noir culture since the joint opened up over one hundred years ago.
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