Here are four photos of actor Robert Walden who at the time played reporter Joe Rossi from the 1970s-80s television drama Lou Grant. He wanted an idea of what a newspaper bar was like. Somebody steered him to the M&M where he had conversations with my brother Tom and my father Al. The lower-right photo shows the downstairs office area of the M&M... safe from the din and distractions of the main barroom.


​Most of the M&M clientele were men, but fortunately some of the fairer sex graced the bar with their appreciated presence. Again from left-to-right, in the first picture this pretty lady  is someone I never knew, but my mother puts the name Hammill to her and said she was a runner for Herb Caen. I don't know what a runner is/was, but if someone out there knows this gal and what her job was I can put that info here on this web site. Or if she really would NOT WANT to be on this web site, you can let me know that too! The older fellow with her certainly enjoys giving her some attention. Letch. And in the next photo I am told the gal in the dog-tooth coat is Lona Jupiter, wife of Harry.  And finally a crisply dressed brunette with liars dice cups at hand. She'd look at home dealing cards in Vegas. Behind her, somewhat out-of-focus, is a guy I recall was always at the pinball machines. My recollection is he worked at the Crocker Bank computer center across from the M&M... when he wasn't playing pinball at the M&M, that is. As always, if you have some information to add or a request to make concerning these photos, please contact me Marty McVeigh at mmcveigh@pacbell.net



At the left is a guy with a fuming pipe, and his neighbor Tom Nunan looks to be wearing a turtleneck... but that's his own neck! Tom's trying to pull his head in from the smoke!

Next is another smoky customer -- Harry Jupiter. I'm all in favor of no-smoking zones, but you have to admit Mr Jupiter has a thoughtful man-of-the-world mein as his cigarette smoke wafts from his mouth.


Below we have pictures of some M&M regulars. The ladies would come down for lunch and sometimes after work. I can't recall all their names -- actually I couldn't recall ANY of their names, but my mother helped me out: Marion Reynolds, Lou Moore, Bonnie Getchel (a very nice lady, my mother tells me)... and from there even my mom can't remember. I recall that in my salad days of bartending I poured a Tom Collins for one of these gals. The M&M was known for pouring a stiff drink, but I had yet to learn that some people did not want a stiff drink. The lady took a sip of my Tom Collins and went "Whooo!", her eyebrows lifted and her makeup started to dissolve. "Could you water that down a bit?"

The next photo is of Jim Woods (beard). Once Jim complained about a hair in his soup. "It probably was his" was my father's astute observation.

And then we have loyal customer Joe. Bartender George Stoltz wants to let Joe know that taking a nap on the bar is not proper, but he could not bring himself to disturb Joe's slumber. ​



Behind these fellows you can see lots of pictures on the wall, some of them copied over to this web site. Now you know where many of the stains and scratches came from. No frame and glass cover for these pictures. These are blue collar, working man photos. Union made in the USA. On an aside -- notice the upside-down "MEN" restroom sign hanging in the air above the bathroom door. Such anarchist humor was non-stop at the M&M. I wish one of the photographers captured the graffitti on the Men's Room wall. Actually, they'd have to do it every few months to give it justice, since Al McVeigh had it painted over regularly only to have a fresh crop of opinion come up. The upside-down sign looks to say "NEW" instead of "MEN", but really there was nothing new in the Men's Room at the M&M. Just the Same Old S&$!.

********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Below we show writers and photographers. Left-to-right, we have: Bill Boldenweck (cigarette) and Larry Hadfield (cowboy). Photographer Fran Ortiz and some guy with a beret -- oh! that's Joe Rosenthal! You know... the guy who took the photograph of the Marines mounting the flag on Iwo Jima! Yeah! That guy! Won a Pulitzer for it. And hung out at the M&M afterwards.  And finally writer Harry Jupiter with glasses and a smile on his handsome face. 


Below are some great photos of what can only be the M&M during a Giants, 49ers, or Warriors game. Or maybe during The Benny Hill show... nah, I take that back, nobody's laughing, so it's gotta be sports. In the top-left picture you see the awesome bartending performance of Bruno, swiftly snagging the empty glass, ready to drive to the well for a quick refill. And in the top-right pic, notice the guy who has to pause in his trip to the Men's Room, waiting for the play to be over. The M&M was a sports bar before there was such a thing. With a Zenith Chromacolor cathode-ray TV set sitting on a platform above the ice machine. The big three -- baseball, basketball, and football -- commanded the TV set during daytime hours. At night... Benny Hill!

Hello again, you who seek out the history of San Francisco's M&M Tavern. Just recently (in 2008, which for me is "recently") a file full of old photographs turned up at my mother's house ... well, let me admit I found them whilst snooping around (as a kid I snooped everywhere in my parent's house... old habits die hard). A manila folder containing a couple dozen pictures crumpled, bent, torn, tobacco-stained, and discolored with age -- bona fide M&M Tavern images. Let us start with one of Al McVeigh, during a day-shift behind the bar. The M&M did serve wine. You can see a couple jugs -- one red one white -- and a corked bottle for the more discriminating.  

​And then we have a couple guys in suits -- clearly not the guys who refill the ink at the presses -- also amidst the tendrils of cigarette smoke. When I was janitor at the M&M one of the duties was to put those dozens of glass ashtrays into the washing machine (yes, the same place the dishes, cups, silverware went) and redistribute them around the bar. Customers rarely had to ask for an ashtray. They were all over the place. The bartenders had to empty them throughout the day. They would dump the ashes into these coffee-cans that hung from nails down at knee-level behind the bar. And despite all the ashtrays, cigarette butts nevertheless abounded on the floor and in the Men's Room urinal. I think there is a big wad of millions of cigarette butts floating in the middle of the Pacific... or so I've heard.

The pinball machines in the M&M deserve some comment. Notice the buxom ladies on the diamond. They all look like relatives of Blondie or Daisy Mae. These "Triple Play" machines were pre-Bally pinball machines. They had no wussy flippers. You were supposed to walk that razor-edge between losing by "Tilt" or just standing there helplessly watching your ball go in random directions. You put in a dime for a credit, and each of the Bingo cards cost one credit per game. And -- don't tell the IRS -- you could cash in your credits if you won big but had to catch the bus and get home. 

​More Images From The M&M Tavern (2009 Update)

Text by Martin McVeigh


​Now we go back in time to when the M&M Tavern was located at 150 5th Street, between Mission and Howard. According to my mother, this gathering was of the San Francisco Call-Bulletin crowd, ready to go out for their Call-Bulletin Picnic, but even Mom could not name most of the guys in this photo. Al McVeigh is standing tall in the back-left. And I recognize the man in the front-left as the father of King Thompson. Both King and his father were newspapermen, and both frequented the M&M.  

Dorothy the Waitress may have been the most popular person at the M&M. She made you feel right at home. Except the service (for most customers) was much better than at home. Dorothy managed to work with whoever the cook was. There were several. Some not easy to work with. And then there was Mary McVeigh, Al's mother, who could also be difficult. But Dorothy somehow made everything run like a Swiss watch.

The picture of Al and Dorothy shows two genuine smiles. About how he hired Dorothy, Al says he had lost his waitress, put an ad in the paper, and Dorothy -- fresh off the boat from England -- walked in to the M&M responding to the ad. It was her first and last job in the USA. And her retirement was in no small part one of the reasons Al McVeigh decided to hang up his apron strings. 


​Jim Allison spent many hours at the M&M, first as a customer, then as a cook. He had a degree in English (from UCLA, I recall) and did the crossword puzzle in ink, usually finishing most of it. Jim liked opera, Thelonius Monk, and scotch.

There is Al McVeigh, in his later years at the M&M. He has some food on his lips so he probably was sitting down for lunch when something caught his attention. Allen was always on guard while at the M&M. To make a bar run smoothly that's what needs to be done.

Fran Ortiz brought his son in and they got snapped up by a photographer. Fran looks like he wants to shield the boy from being photographic evidence... but no worries! The M&M was okay for kids. Food was good. They served cokes and 7ups and Shirley Temples. And the customers always treated kids well.