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Vesuvio Cafe is a historic bar in San Francisco, California. Located at 255 Columbus Avenue, across an alley from City Lights Bookstore, the building was designed by Italian architect Italo Zanolini and finished in 1916.[1]

Vesuvio Cafe
Vesuvio mural.jpg
Mural outside Vesuvio Cafe
LocationChinatown, San Francisco, United States

The bar was founded in 1948 by Henri Lenoir, and was frequented by a number of Beat Generation celebrities including Jack Kerouac,[2] Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Neal Cassady, as well as other notable cultural figures such as Dylan Thomas, Bob Dylan, Rodger Jacobs[2] and Francis Ford Coppola. In the 1970s, the bar was sold by Lenoir to Ron Fein, who died in 1985, and is still operated by the Fein family along with Janet Clyde, Christopher Clyde, and manager emeritus Leo Riegler.

The common alley shared with City Lights was originally called "Adler" but was renamed "Jack Kerouac Alley" in 1988. The alley was refurbished and converted to pedestrian only in 2007.

Vesuvio is open every day of the year, Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m, Saturdays and Sundays 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.


  1. ^ King, John (May 18, 2013). "Vesuvio provides portal to city's spirit". San Francisco Chronicle.
  2. ^ a b Jacobs, Rodger (May 28, 2009). "Depression 2.0: Sunday in Kerouac Alley". PopMatters.

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Coordinates: 37°47′51″N 122°24′21″W / 37.797365°N 122.40587°W / 37.797365; -122.40587