FAIRFIX (CBS SF) — Another well-known Bay Area establishment is calling it quits due to hardship from the coronavirus pandemic as 75-year-old Fairfax bar Peri’s announced it is shutting its doors.
The bar survived Prohibition, World Wars and economic downturns, but it simply could not outlast the COVID-19 shutdown.
In a theme echoing across the San Francisco Bay Area, bars and restaurants have lost their struggle to survive as the months of forced COVID-19 closures have dragged on.
“COVID hit and COVID just snuffed out any plausibility of Peri’s being able to survive” said owner Michael Peri.
The bar has been a family business for nearly 75 years. Started by his grandfather during prohibition when — according to Michael — a friendly relationship with local police helped the business grow. His father inherited the business, bringing in live music. Michael grew up here.
“This place was booming until two in the morning, rocking out,” he said. “You could come into town and look down the street of Fairfax and there would be nothing on except the lights at 19 Broadway and Peri’s.”
Times have changed. The stage is silent. If this original bar could talk, it might remember gallons of spilled whiskey and high-heeled dancing boots.
The stories could fill a lifetime and they have. Some folks never left, says co-owner Frankie Accardi Peri.
“There are about four people’s ashes buried here,” he said. “They had no place else to go and this was their home.”
Michael points to a spot in the backyard saying “Yo Tom, our Bar Tender is buried at the base of this Olive tree.”
Frankie doesn’t mind the mini graveyard.
“They’re not haunting it, they’re just hanging around so, it’s OK,” he said.
Years ago, the bar ran into trouble with the law. Seems some folks were smoking marijuana out back. Not so much an issue now, but the signs are still up. The doors, however, are closing.