What's Up With the "Lally's" Doorstep at Zeitgeist?

Wendy MacNaughton, illustrator of the killer “Meanwhile, Mission Bartenders” that appeared in The Rumpus, just published a bunch of b-sides to her blog, including this sketch of the front step into Zeitgeist.  Like Wendy, I've always been curious about what “Lally's” was all about, but figured the bartenders' time would be better spent blowing off another customer's question.  Wendy, on the other hand, got the scoop:

this is the doorstep of what is now Zeitgeist, but was once ice cream shop that doubled as a speakeasy during the prohibition years. ice cream was served upstairs, booze down below. the original tile entry remains.

Not that I don't enjoy a good tamale in a buck with my pint, but ice cream with an speakeasy in the basement?  Sounds like my dream come true.

Comments (4)

There’s similar signs of long-gone businesses in the tiled doorsteps of Dalva and Elbo Room (back entrance.)

I love the tile-entry ghost of Tartine, too. Almost as much as I love the phantom Lipton’s Tea ads in Noe Valley (I’ve seen them in Eureka Valley, too), above the doors of what are now residences.

Also a few in Bernal.

I’ve always wondered what the dollar sign was in front of (I think) Anna’s Linens.