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RIP Red's Java House ?

Today we thought we'd stop at Red's for some of their superb (as in best ever) corned beef hash and saw that the sign that formerly said "open Jan. 6" now says "open in Feb." and a scarier sign in bright orange stating that the premises contained leased equipment belonging to the dishwasher leasing company. We consoled ourselves with fried chicken with red beans and rice (for an astonishing $7.00) at Delancey St. and were delighted, but the demise of Red's would be a great loss for us all.

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  1. I remember Red's having trouble with the landlord wanting to raise the rent to ridicoulous levels. It would be a shame if they were finally pushed out now that the real estate market is bottoming out.

    Delancey Street Restaurant
    600 Embarcadero St, San Francisco, CA 94107

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      The landlord is the SF Port Commission (ie, the city). So calls to your local
      Board of Supervisors supervisor may be informative and/or productive.

    2. Walked by today and there was a sign that said they will reopen Thursday at 6AM.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chezchristine

        Another update! The same sign up was up, but the door was open and it looked like someone was puttering around inside. Not open for business, but there was movement!

        1. re: chezchristine

          Thanks for the updates, pls keep reporting in from your nabe!

      2. They're open today!

        1. I'm totally biased in favor of Red's, especially re-opened, but I can honestly say that the double burger I had there last week was the best I've ever had there -- good meat, good bread, well cooked!

          8 Replies
          1. re: BartSFCA

            I love Red's as a place to get outside, either for lunch or for some afternoon beers, but the food here leaves much to be desired. I think the hamburger could be one of the worst I've had in San Francisco. The fries are a little better.

            All that being said, I'm hugely supportive of their re-opening. It's sad to see restauranteurs booted out of locations, and this place is a quasi-institution. Also a very fun place to go and hang outside on a nice day.

            1. re: murdoch

              There must be better places to hang outside and drink beer while scarfing down fries and a burger. Do you think the food at The Ramp is better?

              1. re: Paul H

                The food at the Ramp isn't great, but probably a step up from Red's.

                If you really want to hang outside, drink a beer, and scarf a burger: go to Zeitgeist. Their burger is one of my favorites in San Francisco - cooked over charcoal, and super-tasty. Served with solid home-fry style potatoes. The only drawback is that the kitchen gets super backed up on a nice day and they actually close the order-taking window for large windows of time.

                1. re: Paul H

                  The food at the Ramp is a step up from Red's. The prices at the Ramp are about five steps up.

                2. re: murdoch

                  It's not a quasi-institution, it is an institution. It's been there since 1923 when it was a joint serving longshoremen. The longshoremen have gone to Oakland, but Red's is still there, and you can sense the presence of the ghost of Eric Hoffer there, chomping on a cheeseburger.

                  1. re: Xiao Yang

                    If Eric Hoffer were alive today I think he'd be eating off a taco truck.

                    The food at Red's, institution or not, is greasy spoon at best. Some stuff like eggs, hash, etc., might be good but the burger was not, nor the fries. A beer makes it tolerable but it doesn't make it better. I last ate there about 10 years ago and unless things have changed, I don't see a reason to back.

                    1. re: ML8000

                      Red's was always more about price than food. At the time when I worked closest to Red's (less than 20 years ago) I think it was $1.35 for a double cheeseburger and a long-neck bud, The only burger-beer competiton in that price range was at the Maritime Hall in the Sailor's Union (before The Family Dog started producing rock concerts there).

                      1. re: Xiao Yang

                        I didn't find it especially cheap for what it is.

              2. That was a nice place to go to. I think they were getting pushed out too. Last year the neighbors were complaining about them roasting coffee on the premises. Maybe that was the beginning of the end. I don't really know.

                2 Replies
                1. re: martin blanchard

                  "was a nice place" - if you're taking about Red's, it still is a nice place. It has not closed.

                  476 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

                  1. re: martin blanchard

                    they were complaining about the smell of roasting coffee? cretins.

                  2. One doesn't go to Red's for the cuisine--I love Red's for certain moods. And let's not forget the free parking! But their roast beef hash with an easy-over egg, hash browns, and a killer Bloody Mary on a foggy Saturday (only) morning while the seagulls wheel and cry is a beautiful, poignant experience. Like the Wharf scenes in the original "Point Blank."

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: plainfood

                      They have a great view. I watched the Blue Angels from there.

                      Which scene in Point Blank? The one where Walker is strolling with Chris past the group of dock workers who check her out? Come to think about it, I think Walker would have eaten at Red's!

                      1. re: chocolatetartguy

                        going to watch point blank right now on instant netflix...thks (:-D)

                        1. re: FrugalDanny

                          So where was it? I saw PB at the Pacific Film Archive a few months ago and I think it is the scene where Angie gets checked out by the guys. If you like PB, you might try the very credible remake Payback with Mel Gibson and Maria Bello.

                          1. re: chocolatetartguy

                            that was fisherman's wharf and they were supposed to be fishermen just off the boats looking to unwind....its a strange 1967 movie...i liked lee he did a lot with what he was given...wasn't angie was the first gal sharon acker that went on to marry Walker betrays him with his best buddy and then takes up with said buddy after the buddy double-crosses him shoots him multiple times leaving him for dead and then takes his 93k cut!..its enough to leave a man bitter at the world, but i think a double dog and a bud at say ...Red's ...after a long walk....would get his head straight and help him figure out what he needed to do...one of the lessons that can be drawn from this is don't pick up women on the wharf.

                            1. re: FrugalDanny

                              I misremember once again! You're right that scene was when he was courting Sharon Acker. So it appears the poster that said there was a scene near Red's was mistaken. That was John Boorman's first film. I love that scene when Walker stalks the thugs inside the club. And to make this food related, Angie was one hot tamale!

                    2. ate there alot in the 70's 80's when it was owned by the old brothers? i thought they were twins and one was red and had red gray hair!...before they unloaded it to some youngsters and stayed on for a while to train them i stopped going not long after......i stayed away from burgers... always a boiled double dog (safer!) and beer sometimes a double beer..didn't go there for great food just a great destination and real cheap..

                      1. The outdoor seating in back is shut down due to the rainy weather, but you can still walk in and get marginal to decent food (and beer, of course).

                        My company is HQ'ed across the street (though I'm there infrequently). When I eat at Red's, I'll have the fish & chips. As good as you'll find around here, as they fry the fish fresh to order typically (sometimes they'll premake a couple of orders during the lunch rush, but they don't sit for very long), and about $7 and change with tax.

                        1. Which Red's is this thread about; the one close to Pac Bell Park or the one around Bryant, close to the Hi Dive, closer to the Bay Bridge?

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: Alan408

                            Wow. Google maps gets this one utterly wrong. It's the one at the end of Bryant. Pier 30. Next-ish to the Hi Dive and almost under the bridge.

                            Let's see if this street view link works:


                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                              Yep, I haven't seen any of the Places records with pier addresses mapped correctly.

                              Reds Java House
                              30 San Pier, Francisco, CA

                            2. re: Alan408

                              A "Red's" by Pac Bell Park? Can you tell us more about it? I never heard of it.

                              There's a "Red's Java House" by the Hi Dive and a "The Java House" is by Pac Bell Park.


                              1. re: larochelle

                                vaguely remember eating at the hidive after rowing - the name i think refers to being close to the landing spots for troubled souls high diving off the bay bridge as well as being an upwardly mobile dive....always wondered why they would choose the bay when the golden was just down the embarcadero a ways...

                                1. re: larochelle

                                  The other location is called Java House.

                                  The Java House has been in business since 1912 on the waterfront. The longshoreman’s breakfast still remains the same along with sandwiches, burgers, fries and hot dogs.

                                  Not to be confused with Red’s Java House down the street which was opened by the brother of one of the owners.

                                  I haven't been since I moved about five years ago, but I alway's liked Java House in the pre Pac Bell days. You get a view of the Marina. It doesn't get love on Chowhound, but it is (was) your basic diner breakfast. Not great food but good for what it was. The prices rose slightly after Pac Bell opened. Again, don't know what it is like these days.

                                  Java House
                                  40 Pier 45, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    I get the two confused too, and I think I'm more of a Java House fan, although all I ever get there is the fried egg sandwich, which I drown in Tabasco. I'm glad the area can still support two creaky dive-y institutions in proximity.

                                  2. re: larochelle

                                    To be precise, the Hi Dive was known as The Boondocks when AT&T Park was known as Pac Bell Park.

                                    1. re: Xiao Yang

                                      thank you xiao! that was the name of the joint i couldn't remember was there when i was there when there was just candlestick ..geeze there's a lot of was in there...

                                2. I heard the America's Cup project (aka give away) has that plot of land set to go to Larry Ellison. They should make him put in his "backyard" on his estate, like the Japanese house he owns.

                                  1 Reply