Stookey's Club Moderne, San Francisco's 1930s-style cocktail lounge, is planning to add a period-correct neon sign.
Stookey's Club Moderne is a neighborhood cocktail bar in San Francisco's Nob Hill. Upon entering Stookey’s, patrons feel a hint of the magic of stepping back in time. Club Moderne reflects the period following the end of the Speakeasy era — during which both men and women could imbibe openly and unabashedly.
The design inspiration for Stookey’s Club Moderne engages a fascination with the aesthetic of the 1930s and 1940s, referred to as “Streamlined Moderne”. Picking up on many of the design influences of the Art Deco period (late-1920s), Streamline Moderne emphasizes simplicity, form and function.
Our expert bartenders mix cocktails that were served during the time period, as well as classic San Francisco and Pre-Prohibition favorites. Guest can choose from such classics as an Aviation, 20th Century, Irish Coffee or Pisco Punch, a Sazarac and Old Fashioned, a Martini or Manhattan. We serve these and many more, often obscure, concoctions of the early 20th century.
The music we play has been uniquely chosen from an extensive private collection of rare and obscure 78rpm recordings. From time to time, we have been known to feature vintage DJ nights with friends spinning the shellac records on a hand-cranked Victrola.
While the bar design is Streamlined Moderne, there are aspects that are solidly contemporary and reflect a green consciousness: linoleum flooring, LED lighting, beer and wine taps, waste stream efficiency and composting. Furthermore, we are currently the only bar in San Francisco that accepts BitCoin.
While we offer a level of sophistication, we are also a local bar that engenders the support of a loyal clientele and is part of a strong localized business community. In addition, we like to think of ourselves as a community center or “salon” (in the French sense of the word) as we bring lectures, book signings and musical offerings on a regular basis.
Stookey’s Club Moderne was designed to evoke the sense of design and architecture of the Streamline Moderne era of the 1930s and early 40s. The only thing missing to complete the vintage and authentic feel of the bar is a period-correct hand-painted neon sign.
This “Cocktails” Neon Sign Kickstarter is all about reviving the use of classic neon signage in San Francisco and is part of a movement to restore and replace neon across the nation. It is an opportunity to create a San Francisco landmark at our corner of Bush and Taylor streets. The sign will be used to create mood, atmosphere and beautification, and thus our sign concept is not only a benefit for Stookey’s Club Moderne but for the entire neighborhood and city.
The use of neon signage ties us back to the streamline-moderne style of sign making that was prevalent in the 1930s and 1940s. Currently, it is almost a lost art.
Today we are seeing a movement to revive and restore this tradition. We see ourselves as part of the vanguard of this movement and we are very pleased to be bringing the project to fruition.
We thank you so much for your support! Take a look at the reward tiers and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us directly. Together we will give a nice assist to the historical preservation efforts in the world of neon and thus help increase people’s appreciation for the beautiful streamlined design that our sign design evokes.
Kickstarter is an American public-benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York, that maintains a global crowd-funding platform focused on creativity. The company's stated mission is to "help bring creative projects to life”.
What we at Stookey’s Club Moderne especially like about Kickstarter (as opposed to other crowd-funding sites) is that a given project needs to have sufficient integrity and a “need to happen” as decided by a community of supporters and backers in order to get funded. What this means practically is that the project will not be funded at all if an insufficient amount of pledges come in to completely fund the project. The question of whether this neon sign is worthy of community support is entirely in the hands of the community of backers. It creates a higher hurdle to overcome, but we believe that this project will prove itself worthy!
As a token of our gratitude for your support with this project, we’ve put together a collection of great rewards at each tier. The full list of rewards can be found to your right. Final designs may vary.
- Almost Anything by Club Moderne bartenders Tim Stookey and Matt Solario is a collection of original cocktails, classics executed in the Club Moderne style and the stories behind them. You will receive a digital copy for a pledge of $1, your name immortalized in the pages of the manual at $5 and a physical copy at $35.
- It's all in the details with Stookey's Club Moderne lapel pin to help you look your sharpest at the next big gala, walking the streets of San Francisco or just poking your head into Club Moderne for a tipple. Available at the $15 tier and up.
- For our early bird backers, we have at the $50 tier, two tickets to the famous SF Neon walking tour of the Tendernob neighborhood, hosted by neon sign historians and authors of the book, San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons, Randall Ann Homan and Al Barna. This 2-hour evening tour explores the neon and history of one of the most interesting areas of The City and wraps up at Stookey's Club Moderne so you can see the fruits of this campaign live and in-person and receive a tipple on us. Date in January to be announced.
"There is nothing like a glowing neon sign to generate ambient light and a visual vitality on a city street. A neon sign often signals a neighborhood gathering place and an independent or family-owned business. Neon signs form a bridge from the present to the past, an enduring hand-crafted art form that has survived for decades against the odds.
All neon signs are not created equal. A quality neon sign does not compare with neon beer signs, or the soul-less glow of a plastic sign backlit with LED lights. San Francisco has lost so many iconic neon signs, that when a sign is restored or a new sign is designed and built using traditional, time-honored techniques and materials, it is a cause for support, recognition, and celebration.
It is our hope that the Stookey’s Club Modern neon sign will become a San Francisco landmark. It will shed a vibrant light on the corner of Bush and Taylor Streets, in homage to the many surviving neon signs from the 1930s and 40s in this neighborhood. With hand-painted letterforms and Art Deco details on this wing-shaped sign outlined in neon tubes, this new sign can restore some of San Francisco’s lost neon glory.
A tradionally-crafted neon sign is not disposable advertising, it is an enduring symbol of the creative spirit of our city, that can become a neighborhood icon for generations. San Francisco's legacy neon signs represent a legacy of graphic design and typography particular to each neighborhood. Neon signs have traditionally been crafted by local sign shops because neon tubes are fragile and difficult to ship. The historic neon signs in our city may seem like relics from the past, but they continue to sparkle in the neighborhoods and destinations that make San Francisco such a quirky, colorful city of lights. ”
—Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan, photographers and authors of San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons, (Giant Orange Press, neonbook.xyz)
Limited reward available to earlybird backers only, while spots last. Not included at higher tiers.
- A Kickstarter-exclusive Club Moderne Challenge Coin
This challenge coin sits at the $50 tier and is exclusive to backers of this campaign and grants the bearer perpetual happy hour for one year upon the date issued when presented at Stookey's Club Moderne. If our stretch goal of $26,250 is met, the benefits of the coins will be active for a total of two years.
Challenge Coins - A Brief History
The concept of challenge coin came down through the centuries from Rome. During the Roman Empire soldiers were given coin-like tokens for meritorious service much as we give out medals today. A later function of a challenge coin was to indicate membership in a military unit.
In more recent times, unit commanders in the military would have coins minted to give soldiers a reward for actions that didn’t rise to the level of official recognition but were still worthy of distinction.
But how did the notion of “Challenge” come to be associated with these coins? If a solider was in a barroom setting and claimed membership in a particular unit of the military sometimes another member of that unit would “challenge” him to show his coin. If he was unable to do so, then the drinks were on him. If he could, then the drinks were on the challenger.
The use of the coin has spread throughout the civilian and bar communities to show show membership in a group such as a fraternal organization, a bar or a club. Oftentimes, bartenders and bar enthusiasts will carry them when traveling to help familiarize themselves with local watering holes. These Kickstarter-exclusive challenge coins at Club Moderne feature an image of the neon sign and can be shown at the bar to indicate one’s participation in this campaign and the recognition and benefits that are due.
- Your choice of a beautiful wooden custom muddler made exclusively for Club Moderne by Mr. Mojito himself OR a sturdy pair of custom Stookey's Club Moderne rocks glasses is available at the $75 tier and includes all previous unlimited rewards.
The heavy-duty walnut muddler fits perfectly in a tumbler and provides the right amount of oomph to take the muscle out of muddling your next Whiskey Smash.
The handsome pair of sturdy double Old Fashioned rocks glasses is etched with the Stookey's Club Moderne emblem.
- Available to all backers who have reached $100 and above - an invitation to a private event at Stookey's Club Moderne in which you'll hobnob with other the Kickstarter backers that helped make this campaign possible.
Refreshments provided. Date and time to be determined. Available to individuals 21 and over.
- How would you like to inspire your own cocktail? Impress your friends and let our expert bartenders invent a concoction in your honor along with your name and a thank you to be featured on a special menu at Stookey's Club Moderne. You never know, it may just become a part of our regular menu! Available at the $250 tier.
Stookey's Club Moderne is a public neighborhood cocktail bar, but offers a premium service with extra benefits as well.
- At the $500 tier, you'll receive a Membership to Club Moderne good for one year. which includes:
Invitation to happy hour at Stookey's Club Moderne for you and 5 friends, for one year starting one year after first visit.
Reserved seating for up to six (please contact Stookey's 24 hours or more in advance)
Invitation to special limited-attendance events such as New Year's Eve Celebration.
Club Moderne Membership Challenge Coin
Other specific benefits of membership are listed at: StookeysClubModerne.com/membership
Rewards to be picked up to save on shipping.
- A few options at the $1000 and above - Stookey's at Your Service, our event planning and catering service. More about these rewards to your right.
About our service: Stookey’s At Your Service came about as a natural progression out of the Stookey’s Club Moderne 1930’s post-prohibition bar concept. Soon after we opened in January 2015, people were asking if we could bring the special Club Moderne style with the bartenders and the delicious cocktails to their parties and events! Since then, we have catered events for the Art Deco Society of California, such as their annual Gatsby Summer Afternoon as well as parties for friends and guests of the bar.
As we looked to how we might make it easier for our guests to find out about Stookey’s At Your Service and to bring our service, style and cocktails to their events, we met Mitchell Prencavage, an Event Manager for a successful San Francisco based party planning company. Mitchell, who has a passion for vintage style, expressed an interest in collaborating with us to bring his event managing experience to our team. His can-do attitude, ability to solve problems on the fly and reputation for reliability in the hospitality industry was exactly what we needed to launch Stookey’s At Your Service to the event planning community!
With Stookey’s At Your Service, an event planner can bring to the party a bit of the sophistication and style reminiscent of the first half of the 20th Century, along with the delicious libations and service one can expect from Stookey’s Club Moderne. We are available for parties of 20 or more, anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- At the $5,000 and $10,000 tiers, respectively, you can become a Gold or Platinum Member of Club Moderne. Further details can be found to your right in the rewards section or at:
If your contributions exceed our initial goal of $21,450 and we reach $26,250 in total contributions, the life and perks of the Kickstarter-exclusive Challenge Coins will be extended by a year and will remain activate for a total of TWO YEARS.
Choose the reward tier to your right that appeals to you. No contribution is too small. Every little bit gets us closer to making this sign a reality. You can help to preserve and reinvigorate neon sign culture for generations to come. Thank you for your time and effort!
- Matías Bombal and Chad E. Williams of Matías Bombal's Hollywood. Mr. Bombal presents current and upcoming movie reviews in an incredibly entertaining and unique way. Please visit www.mabhollywood.com to see more!
- Randall Ann Homan and Al Barna. Ms. Homan and Mr. Barna are neon sign enthusiasts and guides of a series of neon walking tours in San Francisco. They are also authors of the beautiful book, San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons. Information on the walking tours and book can be found at neonbook.xyz
- Bandleader Nick Rossi. Mr. Rossi is one of the premier classical jazz guitarists in the Bay Area. You haven't lived unless you've seen Nick Rossi & The Moderne Men perform at Stookey's! His music and more can be found at facebook.com/pg/nickrossimusic
- Photographer and videographer Doug O'Connor for additional video.
Risks and challenges
We have done everything we can to reduce/eliminate the risk surrounding this project. The sign has been approved by the landlord and the City of San Francisco.
We are in contract to complete the sign. The contract stipulates exactly what the construction, install and final inspection will cost. The designer has also given us a not-to-exceed estimate of his costs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)