Truth in Advertising

Bar signs are strange. Some promise too much, like My Blue Heaven, others not enough, like the Last Chance. Here It Is is refreshingly forthright, while The Corral is all too prophetic–two men were murdered outside that establishment a couple weeks ago. Maybe they should have gone to Mr. Jesse’s Nice and Polite Lounge instead.

Peter Woodall is the co-editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and a former newspaper reporter with the Biloxi Sun Herald and the Sacramento Bee. He worked as a producer for Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and wrote a column about neighborhood bars for


  1. Good thing you photographed “here it is” when you did because
    The building was sold and the sign is no more.

  2. It’s a good policy to be Nice and Polite in Mr. Jesse’s Lounge. If you do ever wind up in any of these buckets of blood, you know that it’s time to stop drinking.

  3. Didn’t know about “Here It Is” (Here It Aint?)–always one of my favorites. Prince’s Fairmount, Mr. Jesse’s and the Fireside Tavern are gone, too

  4. Can you make this into a poster so that I can buy it from you immediately?

  5. Love this! Fantastic photo essay.

  6. Ariel Diliberto

    Funny story about Perry’s Place is that they don’t actually serve soup. Someone made the sign for the owner because they wanted him to serve soup– he put up the sign, but didn’t add soup to the menu.

  7. My all time favorite was from a bar called the Twist that was on North Broad just above Diamond St. and Temple Campus. Had a great old neon sign (that I never saw lit up so who knows when it last was) of a woman in classic 50’s style skirt. The place was knocked down around 91 or 92 and I have no idea where the sign ended up. Found a pic of it online years ago and lost the copy I made.

    Yet another disappearing link to the city’s past. Glad you captured these while you could!

  8. Does anyone know where Mr. Jesse’s is or who owns it? I would love to get my hands on that sign. Well done, I agree on the poster!

  9. What about “Sit on it?”–great sign, great name–on 1901 S. 19th st. It’s my fav!

  10. Don’t forget the Sit on it Lounge in Point Breeze and Phillips at Broad near Ellsworth. They are both some badass signs.

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