On the edge of the Western world...


The Riptide Music San Francisco

We would like to thank SFFD Stations 18, 19, and 40 for their skill, hard work, and quick response to our unfortunate situation. SFFD!!!

Fire guts Riptide bar in S.F.’s Outer Sunset

By Evan Sernoffsky and Hamed Aleaziz Updated 6:57 pm, Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A two-alarm blaze Tuesday morning tore through a beloved bar in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset, dealing a blow to loyal customers who saw the watering hole as a second home.

The fire at the Riptide bar at 3639 Taraval St., a popular hangout for locals and surfers, broke out around 10:15 a.m. and within 90 minutes it was gutted, fire officials said.

“It was a home. Everyone came here,” said Alisha Liscinsky, general manager of the bar, between 46th and 47th avenues.
The fire, about three blocks north of the San Francisco Zoo, ripped through the bar and also damaged the Great Highway Market next door before it was brought under control around 11:45 a.m., fire officials said.

The fire, about three blocks north of the San Francisco Zoo, ripped through the bar and also damaged the Great Highway Market next door before it was brought under control around 11:45 a.m., fire officials said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire officials said the blaze caused more than $1 million in damage to the bar and neighboring market.

Standing outside the bar surveying the damage, owners David Quinby and Les James lamented their loss. The men said the bar, which they have owned for around 11 years, was full of antiques and keepsakes, including a wooden sculpture of a Barbary Coast mermaid and an album autographed by Johnny Cash.

“We’ll rebuild. We have to,” said James, adding that local musicians who have played at the bar have offered to organize a benefit to help them rise from the ashes.

The Riptide sustained roughly $600,000 in damage, according to a preliminary estimate by the Fire Department, and the market was facing a similar estimate, but with the majority of the losses coming from damaged merchandise.

Sean Carberry, a 42-year-old regular Riptide customer who lives nearby, said the tavern is an “institution” for the neighborhood.
“The people that go there are like family. All the surfers, artists, musicians — it’s kind of a home away from home for a lot of people. It’s a really, really special place for the neighborhood,” said Carberry, adding that the bar was the first place he’d take visitors to “give them a taste of the neighborhood.”

“The vibe there was always very special, warm and comforting,” he said.

Jean Fontana, 37, manager of the Riptide, said she showed up for work just after 10 a.m. Tuesday and when she opened the door she saw smoke and flames inside. She immediately called 911.

Fontana said that if the bar doesn’t reopen it will be a major loss to local musicians and the community at large, which has benefited from fundraisers thrown for various causes at the establishment.

“That’s how important this bar is to people,” Fontana said. “They’ve done a lot for this community.”

Regular patron J.B. Roth took one look at the damage and said, “I’m devastated.”
“This was the best bar in San Francisco,” Roth said.

The bar, which regularly hosted music and karaoke events,
is in a building that opened in 1941.

San Francisco Muni officials reported a delay on the L-Taraval line due to the fire activity. Regular service resumed around 12:15 p.m.
There were no reports of injuries.


The Riptide is the Bay Area's best little honky-tonk by the beach. Located in the Sunset District of San Francisco it was built in 1941 and has the look and feel of a small town lodge. In addition to rustic brick flooring and high ceilings, the original knotty pine walls and raging fireplace add warmth you can feel as soon as you step inside.

The Riptide opens at 4 P.M. Monday though Saturday and 2 P.M. Sunday. If you’re looking for a casual atmosphere and a conversation or two with the local neighbors, stop by for Happy Hour, Monday through Friday, from 4 P.M. to 7 P.M. featuring honest drink specials.

Enjoy some of the best touring and local music acts including bluegrass, jazz, blues, solo acoustic, and country. Check the calendar for events or just wander in anytime.

The Riptide is only 20 minutes from the heart of San Francisco, one block away from the Pacific Ocean, half a block from public transportation with plenty of free parking.

Smokers, check out the outdoor smoking lounge with an ocean view, just watch out for the L-Taraval...


The Riptide was voted
Nitey Awards Best Neighborhood Bar in San Francisco 2 years in a row.

The Riptide Certificate of Honour

Taraval Street was named after Sebastian Taraval, a Native American guide for Juan Bautista de Anza's 1775-1776 expedition to San Francisco.

Carville by the Sea

Sunset Carville

At the end of the 19th century, the city began replacing horse-drawn cars with electric streetcars. Dumped out near the beach in the Sunset, many cars were sold to individuals who paid $10 if the car had no seats and $20 if it did. People set up these cars along the sand at the Great Highway and turned them into homes. Some stacked two or three cars on top of one another for a multi-story home; others placed cars in a u-shape to create a courtyard protected from the wind. The area became known as "Carville-by-the-Sea" or simply "Carville." By 1901, 50 families lived in this unusual community that included a two-story church and a café. By the 1930s and 1940s, as development increased and property became more valuable, these cars disappeared. Today, two surviving houses are known to be built around streetcars. Others may exist as well.

* The deepest part of the San Francisco Bay is right under the Golden Gate Bridge, with 330 feet of water, other parts of the bay can be as shallow as 7 feet.

The Riptide