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The building at 624 Post Street was completed in 1905 just before the great earthquake on April 18, 1906. Because it was built as a Class A structure, completely supported by a steel frame, it suffered little damage. However, the fire that engulfed the city after the quake did some damage to the lobby and restaurant.
After being repaired the following November for $38,000, the building assumed its planned role as the Sultan Turkish Baths, a gentlemen's bath and relaxation establishment. The large electric sign on the roof announced its arrival on Post Street. As a full service business, the Sultan Baths featured a restaurant on the ground floor. The next level housed a salt water plunge, tiled hot room, and a rubbing room. On the third floor one could find a barber, chiropodist, and a bar and lounge. The fourth and fifth floors featured small sleeping rooms and a steam room. Finally, on floors six and seven, one could rent one of several small apartments, each containing a bedroom and a parlor. Rumor has it that, at one time, the establishment had a rather unsavory reputation!
In 1919, the fifth, sixth and seventh floors were renovated and converted to hotel rooms. The restaurant became a soda fountain and lunch cafe for which a new, separate entrance was built. In the process of this "improvement," one of the two beautifully arched windows was removed, destroying the symmetry of the façade. This window was replaced during the 1991 renovation of the restaurant.
In 1928 the Sultan Baths closed and the entire building was remodeled into a hotel. Over the next several decades, 624 Post Street housed a wide variety of occupants ranging from office workers in the 1940s to foreign youths seeking inexpensive accommodations while visiting San Francisco during the 1970s. The building was also home to a number of restaurants, including The China Doll which was noted for an aquarium that spanned almost an entire wall.
In 1981, Harry Andrews purchased and refurbished the building. He named it The Andrews Hotel in honor of his grandfather, who had built a hotel by the same name in Minneapolis around the turn of the century. The restaurant was redone in 1983 and opened as the Post Street Bar and Cafe, featuring innovatively prepared American Regional cuisine. A rave review in Gourmet magazine helped to catapult the cafe into the stratosphere of the San Francisco food scene.
Times and tastes changed, and in 1991 the space underwent yet another transformation and facelift and reopened as Fino Ristorante & Bar, serving outstanding Italian cuisine. Fino was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best values and one of the ten most romantic restaurants in San Francisco.
624 Post Street San Francisco, California 94109 (800) 926-3739