hungry i
599 Jackson Street

   This legendary San Francisco nightclub operated in the mid-1950s and early 1960s by Enrico Banducci in the North Beach district. Poet Maya Angelou began her career there as a Caribbean singer.

My friend Nathan worked here as a waiter so I was often invited to see the performances.   Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman, Jonathan Winters, Lenny  The hungry iBruce, Dick Geogory, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Kingston Trio, Limelighters,and Josh White. Josh White bought the Coffee Confusion which was located near the Coffee Gallery on upper Grant Ave. during the folk song period.

     The maitre d`was Harry Smith. The announcer was blacklisted screen writer Alvah Bessie and the manager was children show host David Allen. I remember hearing Nina Simone sing there one wonderful night.
    Never made the transition to Rock but the Lovin Spoonful did play there a week before they headlined at the Family Dog dance at Longshoreman Hall. This was a most wonderful place of laughter and good times.
more information and photos of hungry i

In 1958, Enrico Banducci opened Enrico's on Broadway, a Europeon style coffeehouse that served food outdoors. It became one of San Francisco's "in" spots. Located just a a short walk from the hungry i. Enrico's was a great place to sit back with coffeee or a cocktail on the outdoor patio, listen to the cool jazz and watch the people walking by. Enrico's was a San Francisco favorite for many years before finally closing in 1988, due to the strip sleaze that has overtaken Broadway more and more as time goes on. It has reopened by other people over the years but has never returned to to the way it was when Enrico Banducci was running it.
See Enrico Banducci: 1922-2007 ~ The impresario of North Beach.

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