Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
Founded in 1916, The Buena Vista saloon first served the fishermen who worked at a nearby Sardine Cannery. The restaurant didn't make its mark until 1952 when owner Jack Koeppler partnered up with Stanton Delaplane, an international travel writer, to experiment and recreate a drink served at Shannon Airport in Ireland.
Learn more about the story of Irish coffee in the following video:
Koeppler and Delaplane struggled to get the taste right and found it challenging to get the cream to float as it did in the original Irish drink. After an overseas trip in an attempt to determine what they were doing wrong, the experimentation continued, and they concocted the perfect-tasting Irish Whiskey. However, only one of the two main issues had been resolved. To solve the cream problem, the two sought the expertise of San Francisco's mayor, who also happened to be a prominent dairy owner. With his help, they discovered that when the cream was aged for 48 hours and frothed correctly, it would float. With the recipe perfected, the presentation was the next challenge to overcome. A six-ounce, heat-treated goblet was chosen as the winner, which is still used today.
In addition to Irish Coffee, the bar offers several well drinks including Early Times Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Boord's Gin, and Grant's Scotch served up by white-jacketed bartenders. Buena Vista also serves a wide array of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Breakfast is available all day and includes favorites such as corned beef hash and eggs, Dungeness crab omelets made with cage-free eggs, sourdough toast, and Ghiradelli chocolate-dipped bacon.
Cover image: "San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf: The Buena Vista - Irish Coffee" by Wally Gobetz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.