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Storied: San Francisco

Jul 18, 2023

In Part 3, we meet Mini Bar's Operations Manager, Erin Kehoe. Erin is a sixth-generation San Franciscan. Her uncle researched family history, which was complicated by the fact that her grandma was orphaned. When you consider time in the state of California, her family history goes back here to when it was part of Mexico.

Much like John, she was born at Kaiser on Geary. In fact, Erin says, John's mom could've delivered her and her twin sister. She comes from a lineage of twins, actually. Her mom was one of four sets of twins. Erin's dad was a firefighter with the SFFD, though the family lived down in South San Francisco when Erin was young. They did spend lots of time at her grandma's place in the Sunset, the same house her dad and his brothers grew up in and which the family sold only recently.

Erin remembers trips into The City when she young to go to places like Ghirardelli Square, the Emporium, and I. Magnin department store. They went to some football games at Candlestick, but not so much Giants games.

She says that she grew up somewhat sheltered until, as a teenager, she and her twin sister discovered goth and industrial music. She recalls stories of calling in to Live 105 for ticket giveaways and how her mom would drop her and sister off at places like Slim's. Around the time they turned 18, the sisters started going to clubs and places like the Trocadero. This got her into the SF nightlife scene, and she says she "never looked back."

But her job at Mini Bar is her first bartending gig. Erin did work in the service industry for 20+ years, at joints like the Peppermill in Daly City, B44 and Café Bastille on Belden Lane, and then at both the original and the current location of Bar Crudo. That restaurant's 2009 move to Divisadero is how Erin started coming to Mini Bar.

She met John quickly and right away, he wanted her to work at Mini Bar. Only problem was—she didn't bartend (yet). Fast-forward to 2021, when her friend Susan was bartending at Mini and asked Erin yet again to consider coming on, which she did. Four months later, they asked her to manage the bar.

Erin takes her work seriously, and she thinks that she was someone Mini Bar could count on. She picked up the bartending side quickly, but didn't know where to start with curating art shows. And so, she went through archived Mini Bar emails and found people she recognized. From there, she put together a show, and then things started rolling. Erin soon met Anita Beshirs (curator of the current show at Mini Bar), and the two are good friends now. She says she's honored to be part of art and community.

When the conversation shifts to our upcoming show, Hungry Ghosts, Erin mentions that she had wanted to branch out and try something different. Joining forces with a podcast feels for her like the beginning of something new at Mini Bar.

We end Part 3 with a chat about the current show at the bar, which Erin says "is very SF."  "Around Town" features Jack Keating, Millie Kwong, Missstencil, Anne-Louise Petersson, and Danielle Bellantonio. "Anita crushed it," Erin says, congratulating her friend. We agree.

We hope to see you all at Mini Bar on August 17 at 6 p.m. for the opening of Hungry Ghosts. Thanks for listening throughout our fifth season, and we'll see you soon!