In spring 1961, two establishments opened in San Francisco.
One was a hotel bar on Geary Street. The other was a lunch spot and cocktail lounge on Maiden Lane.
Both were less than two blocks from Union Square.
One was created by a designer who went on to be celebrated in the pages of the Architectural Digest. It had an "Emperor Norton" doorman. And, per Herb Caen, it once was host to Jack Dempsey and Lefty O'Doul — sharing a bowl of peanuts on the same night.
The other was home to a new portrait of the Emperor commissioned by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Both were called the Emperor Norton Room.
Here’s the intriguing story of two Nortonian stars that briefly rose and just as quickly fell in the same San Francisco season.Read More