SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

Breen's Bar, Saloon of MOCA, ground floor of 75 3rd Street, now redeveloped

Tom Marioni, Café Society (1976-1979)



Breen’s Bar, Salon of MOCA, the site of Marioni’s Café Society, where on Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m. artists would meet and exchange ideas and energy. Beer was free. Marioni’s “concept of Café Society is drunken parties where ideas are born.” (Loeffler and Tong 1980: 366)

Tom Marioni loosely organized a group of people who met in a place called Breen’s Bar on Third between Mission and Market. It was an old bar used by the San Francisco Chronicle writers. It became a kind of unofficial meeting place, a place where people, mainly artists, would go and gather and talk. Maybe just fool around. But a place where we could meet. There actually were a number of shows done in that bar; we did a sculpture-sound show organized by Tom Marioni that ended up on KPFA radio in Berkeley. And slowly a lot of energy began to develop around him. (Woodall in Shank 1989: 269)