A bartending local legend whose career spanned Tadich Grill, Original Joe’s, Kuleto’s, Enrico’s, Momo’s, Moose’s and more, Adam Richey passed from a heart attack and is mourned by many establishments.
There was a time when you could be a bartender in San Francisco and still afford to buy a house and raise a family — if you were good enough at bartending. And 30-year San Francisco bartending legend Adam Richey was that good at it. Working San Francisco’s premier blue-chip bars like Original Joe’s and Tadich Grill, Richey rocked a white jacket and schmoozed power brokers like Willie Brown, who would end up officiating Richey’s wedding. But the Chronicle reports that after an illustrious decades-long career, Richey recently passed aways from a heart attack. He was 51.
“Nobody that young should die, and nobody who lived that well should die that young,” Willie Brown told the Chronicle. “You’ve got to assume that the Lord was looking for a maitre d’.”
Richey started as a barback at Kuleto’s on Powell Street as a USF freshman in the late 1980s, and after getting his B.A., went on to tend bar at Splendido in the Embarcadero Center. He proceeded on to stints at Enrico’s, Momo’s, Moose’s and the old DV8, before gaining fame as one of the top bartenders at Tadich Grill. He was eventually plucked away by Original Joe’s, opening their bars in North Beach and Westlake, and he helped design the forthcoming Little Original Joe’s in the Marina.
Per the Chronicle there will be a public memorial for Richey “at noon Saturday, April 30, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church on Washington Square.”
He is survived by his wife Michelle, and two daughters Elle and Sloan. A GoFundMe campaign for Adam Richey’s family has been established to help the family with costs.
Image: The Original Joe’s via Facebook