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The Dawn Club, 20 Annie Street, San Francisco, 1940s | by kathiemoffett
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The Dawn Club, 20 Annie Street, San Francisco, 1940s

Not my pic, obviously. No idea who took this very old shot.


But it's one of my favorite vintage neon signs ever, for a club that closed before I was born. If I could travel back in time, this is one of the first places I'd go! Jazz trumpeter Bob Schulz wrote: "The Dawn Club was fifty feet off Market Street, and you entered from the street, went down a long flight of stairs, paid your cover charge and the doorman handed you a sheet showing the evening's program, with all the numbers for each set listed.


The club had one of the longest bars in San Francisco, with a lot of dark wood and lots of atmosphere. The club attracted the celebrities- when John Huston was filming The Maltese Falcon on location in San Francisco, the cast was usually at the Dawn Club- Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor and Peter Lorre probably felt right at home, as the club had the same sort of atmosphere as their film. Orson Welles was a big jazz fan and spent considerable time in the club as well. "


My mother was a customer, too! She had a lifelong love for traditional jazz and was friends with Watters band member Turk Murphy--who later launched his own band and was one of SF's best-loved musicians--until his death in 1987. The Dawn Club was where they first met, I believe. She was also a big fan of Watters' later club, Hambone Kelly's in El Cerrito, and Murphy's long-lived SF club, Earthquake McGoon's.

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Taken on July 15, 2009