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from a Landmark sailor hangout in San Pedro, near the Famous Long Beach Pike Long Beach Calif.
SHANGHAI RED "Americana History"
This is an original clock from the infamous Shanghai Red's Bar which was located in San Pedro, Ca. 30-40's. It was mfg by Glo-Dial, and still works great. Many great memories was had by the patrons who remember this great place esp durin' and after WWII.
The unrestored condition of the clock gives it that old untouched petina. Clock was made by the Glo-dial corp. in the late 1930?s
IF any of you have photos, or info, of the old Shanghai Red's, please mail me as I am very interested in it's history. I think it was closed in the 50's, but not sure.
This is a true piece of Americana History, (UPDATE) It is now on display inside Fishermans Mkt, Shanghai Reds Oyster Bar & Grill located in dowtown Palm Springs Ca! Looks GREAT! & the FOOD IS FANTASTIC! THANKS!
The toughest bar in L.A. history, Shanghai Red's in San Pedro, employed a burly, tattooed woman nicknamed "Cairo Mary" to break up bare-knuckled fights among the sailors returning home after WWII.
When this writer (Oliver Vickery) first arrived in San Pedro in 1917, Beacon Street was swarming with excitement at Shanghai Red's, the Silver Dollar Saloon, Scuttle Butt Inn, Whispering Joe's Joint, the Bonanza and a myriad other places.
Shoreline, May 1980.
"Shanghai Red" Eisenberg was a johnny-come-lately. His place was representative only of the gaudy, bawdy era which followed the repeal of Prohibition.
Bill Olesen 12-1-70.
"He ran the toughest waterfront bar in the world and boasted he could lick any man in the joint.'
Dear Mr. Smith,
Shanghai Red's saloon in Pedro. Is that old son of a gun still around? I remember well how he would always stick a lighted cigarette behind his ear rather than bother with an ashtray. I have had many cool one in his place many years back when I was shipping out of the West Coast in old outfits – Dollar Lines, Luuckenback, Hawaiian-American. Able seamen made $28.50 a month and a guy with five bucks could live like a king on the beach in Yokohama for a month. I haven't been on the waterfront in Pedro since '42, so I imagine that things have changed more than somewhat. I quit sailing in '40, enlisted in the Marine Corps, did 24 and retired out here (Okinawa) in '64. – L. F. Smith (Texas City Smitty) Gunnery Sgt. USMC – retired.
Shanghai Red died in June 1957. That's nearly 17 years ago. Smith wrote his obituary. Every able drinking seaman who hit San Pedro washed up in Red's saloon, but all they knew about Red was that he ran the roughest waterfront bar in the world, boasted that he could lick any man in the joint and was a soft touch for any sailor who had been rolled or lost his pay in a crap game or was otherwise momentarily embarrassed.
His real name was Charles Oliver Eisenberg, and he was born on San Francisco's Barbary Coast, where he earned his trade early as a bar boy in a waterfront dive. When he was old enough,or maybe before, he joined the Navy and saw the world. He went back to the land again in Shanghai and bought into a waterfront saloon. That's where he earned his name. When he had a stake he came home and opened up on Beacon Street.
The day Red died they padlocked his doors and the place never opened again. Some years ago the whole street was condemned for a redevelopment project. It has been dragging on so long that I wonder if Red's old bucket of blood might still be there. I was in the neighborhood the other day and drove over to the street for a look.
Yes, Gunny, times have changed more than somewhat. Shanghai Red's was on the northwest corner of 5th and Beacon, as I remember. It's gone, along with every other brick that stood on Beacon Street between 4th and 6th Streets, both sides of the street. Every flophouse, laundry, chop suey joint, greasy spoon, bail bond office, dance hall, steambath, and pawn shop. They haven't started to build anything new yet. It's just four square blocks laid bare. The ground is weed-grown up to your knees, green and fresh as a meadow.
The block between Sixth and Seventh, on the west side across the street from the big city building where they used to have the police station is still standing, but it looks like a beaten old fighter sagging on the ropes. I saw some men in hard hats on the roof of the walk up hotel on the corner of Sixth, smashing away at the top of its walls with sledgehammers, and a man in a powerlift was running around below like a Dodgem driver on the Pike, scooping up fallen bricks. The police station is gone. Beacon Street doesn't need much law anymore.
*courtesy of John Kielbasa
Here is a photo of a lithograph of Shanghai Reds by Tom Phillips. It is a litho from an original painting. Puts a little color perspective on the old
It's NEW HOME
now hangs in the Shanghai Reds Bar & Grill, located in Fishermans Market, Palm Springs, Ca. Stop & enjoy the GREAT FOOD and say hi to the Mgr "Rod".