Bal Tabarin, San Francisco 1932/33
Bal Tabarin was a common name for American nightclubs in the 1930s, its name borrowed from a famous Parisian hotspot. Tabarin was derived from the sixteenth century French word for a comic performer and Bal meant Ball or lavish dance.
The Bal Tabarin nightclub in San Francisco was a sophisticated spot designed in the Moderne style, later called Art Deco, by architect Timothy L Pflueger, and had a stage for music and live shows.
This menu, on textured paper, features a stylish woman and a jester about to celebrate the New Year of 1933.
The Great Experiment, as the ban on the sale of liquor during the Prohibition era was called, was still in force and you will see that only soft beverages including non-alcoholic Budweiser beer were on the menu. People got around this by bringing their own alcohol in hip flasks.
Entertainment was provided by San Francisco-born band leader Tom Gerun, co-owner and manager of Bal Tabarin at 1025 Columbus Avenue (at Chestnut Street) until about 1959 (and now Bimbo’s 365.) He and his Brunswick Recording Orchestra played three shows nightly entitled Parisian Follies.
This would be the last new year that alcohol was banned in San Francisco. Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933, and festivities were particularly lively with citizens joking that they had cracked open enough bottles of wine and champagne to irrigate Golden Gate Park.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.