Vesuvio Cafe


This world-renowned San Francisco saloon located in North Beach just across from the infamous City Lights Bookstore, was first established in 1948 and remains an historical monument to jazz, poetry, art and the good life of the Beat Generation. Vesuvio attracts a diverse clientele: artists, chess players, cab drivers, seamen and business people, European visitors, off-duty exotic dancers and bon vivants from all walks of life. Locals enjoy the atmosphere at Vesuvio Café and its' eclectic customers and personnel.

Vesuvio Café is where Jack Kerouac once spent a long night in 1960 when he should have been on his way to Big Sur to meet with Henry Miller. Miller had written Kerouac that he enjoyed reading The Dharma Bums and would enjoy a visit from the emerging writer. Kerouac, however, had other plans. He continued to hoist drinks and called Miller every hour telling him that he was just a bit delayed in leaving the city. The two would never meet that night. The café is a popular place for people to sit and relax for hours upon end, people watching or engaging in some unique conversation. Poetry readings take place weekly and the venue has entertained a number of famous poets.

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