Boston sports fans aren’t exclusive to New England. The Red Jack Saloon, a bar in San Francisco, is home to many Boston fans living on the West Coast.
The Red Jack Saloon could be a bar that would fit right in with any area of Charleston, Dorchester, one of the main reasons being that one of the owners has New England roots.
“My dad coached UMass football from 1961 to 1970,” said Mark Fusia, owner of the Red Jack Saloon since 1994. When Fusia bought the bar, he transformed the bayside restaurant into a Boston beacon.
When you walk into the bar, you’re immediately greeted by walls covered in posters and photographs of Boston sports legends, and plenty of people dressed in Boston sportswear on game night.
“New England sports fans are the best,” Fusia said. “And they love getting together and watching the game.”
The Red Jack Saloon has hosted many visitors from the Northeast over the years, including New England Patriot owner Robert Kraft, who discovered the bar on a trip to the West Coast.
“My wife’s friend who knows nothing about New England sports – she’s raised in California – heard someone knock on the door and the guy said, ‘I’m the owner, I’m the owner !”, and he’s pointing at the flags and she thought he was saying “I own the bar”. And she’s like “You’re not the owner, it’s my friend Laurie!” So Laurie can hear it, comes running, and Mr. Kraft is like ‘What’s going on?’ “, Fusia said while describing the meeting of his wife with the emblematic owner of the Patriot.
The New England community of sports fans in the Bay Area are the same ones who kept the little neighborhood bar open after being closed for 455 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every time we thought we were going to go bust, a New England team would step in,” said Laurie Fusia, co-owner of the bar and wife of her husband Mark. “Customers came to pay our bills. It was such a blessing.”