(In The Bars That Time Forgot, we will, on occasion, pause to remember a drinking place that has shuffled off this mortal coil.)
Silhouettes was a vaguely '50s-themed bar in North Beach, on Union and Cadell alley.
Here's a picture of the exterior, as it approximately looks today.
There was a large front room/bar, and then a back room with a fireplace and some pinball machines. Not any place you'd go out of your way to go to, but it was nice to have in the neighborhood. When I lived up the hill on Union in the very early 90's, we would occasionally go there because it was the closest bar to our house, everyone there was friendly, and it was completely scene-less, which was nice. Come to think of it, though, most places in North Beach were pretty scene-less back then. It wasn't really like it is today. There were still strip clubs on Broadway but it wasn't like the crowds of shitheads starting fights on the sidewalks at last call that you get now.
Since Silhouettes vanished long before the Internet came along, there is very little about the place online. However, I did find this FASCINATING reference on a site called ReelSF.com, which appears to catalog movie locations in San Francisco and to whoever runs ReelSF.com, GREAT JOB. I'm warning you now: DO NOT start looking at ReelSF.com unless you have an afternoon free.
According to ReelSF.com, Silhouettes was once the "Paper Doll Club" and was in a movie called "The Sniper." Here's a shot of the place from the film, courtesy ReelSF.com:
Looks like they opened it up with some windows. Much better now! According to ReelSF.com, the Paper Doll Club became the 524 Club, Russo's, and Cadell Place before Silhouettes. I think the Paper Doll Club is maybe the best bar name of all time and somebody needs to jump on that shit right away.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, we should Kickstarter this shit because, drum roll, THIS BAR IS CURRENTLY FOR RENT.
OHMYSHIT. We will get this place open, rechristen it the Paper Doll Club, maybe with a '50s theme again? But not '50s drive-in, doo-wop Grease-type theme, but '50s noir, Frank Sinatra, martinis theme! I know $7000 a month is a big nut, but fuck it, we can charge $12 for a sidecar now. Who's in?
(I should note that after Silhouettes, this became an Irish bar called The Field for a while and persisted in that incarnation well into the second time I lived on Telegraph Hill, in the early '00s. It's been vacant ever since. It's just WAITING for us to roll in and take over and make it our clubhouse. LET'S DO IT.)
[POSTSCRIPT: I just realized I've been doing this stupid blog for SIX YEARS NOW. 1100-odd posts. Christ.]