Tom’s Dry Dock

Retox got sold to the folks from Range, and the Retox sign got partially taken down, revealing possibly the most fantastic dive bar sign ever.

Tom's Drydock

What can we find out about Tom’s Drydock? grepping for that address in a few Polk city directories yields the following list of businesses:

1929 CLOTHING DEALERS — MEN’S AND BOY’S — RETAIL: Peterson Bros (Fred L (Annie I) and Frank O) clo
1935 Bruno Anthony (Cath) restr
1936 Antone restr
1936 Bruno Tony (listed two ways)
1937 Martinelli Hugo (Iole) restr
1939 Garcia Jos restr 628 20th
1939 Antonio Bruno restr 632 20th
1940 Bruno Antonio
1942 Crenshaw Eliz restr 628 20th
1942 Olympia Cafe 600 20th

Once the directories started including reverse address lookups, we can much more easily get a picture of the block:

600 Olympia The liquors MA13798
602 1/2 Paul’s Smoke Shop
624 Lejon Restr UN31389
628 Drydock The liquors KL23603
632 Victory Cafeteria restr KL20148


The reverse lookup directories also list the cross streets. Out east of Illinois there are a few paper streets that never really got put into place. (Michigan runs through the storage lot)
1962 by address:

20TH — From the bay west, 3 south of Mariposa
Massachusetts intersects
Delaware intersects
Louisiana intersects
Georgia intersects
Michigan intersects
501 Industries Commissaries Co MA1-3545
Illinois intersects
necor Bethlehem Steel Co (ship bldg div) MA1-3545
600 Olympia The tavern MA1-3798
602 Paul’s Smoke Shop UN1-1128
616 Main Mast The tavern MA1-6774
624 Lejon Restr
628 Doug’s Dry Dock (Douglas Johnson) tavern KL2-3603
632 Ole’s Lunch restr


600 Olympia Cafe and Tavern 621-3796
602 1/2 Ortega’s Smoke Shop 861-1128
616 Main Mast The tavern 621-9044
628 Doug’s Dry Dock tavern 552-3603
632 Ole’s Lunch 621-9203


1977 / 1978

600 Olympia The cocktail lounge 626-2031
604 Jim’s Smoke Shop tobacco shop 626-1940 / 626-6750
616 Main Mast The tavern 863-7023
628 Doug’s Dry Dock tavern 552-3603
632 Arturo’s Restaurant 863-2484

It looks like the tavern picked up Tom’s name in 1979 or 1980. The 1980 and 1982 editions of the directory look like they have nearly identical listings for the block:

1980 / 1982

600 Olympia The cocktail lounge 626-2031
602 Bialik Veronica textile designer
604 Jim’s Smoke Shop tobacco shop 626-6750
616 Main Mast The tavern 863-7023
628 Tom’s Dry Dock (Thos B Pandora) tavern 552-3603
632 Arturo’s Restaurant 863-2484


What became of Tom, of Tom’s Drydock?

The Redding Record Searchlight says:

PANDORA, Thomas, 74, passed away on January 31, 2009 at home surrounded by his wife, family and friends. Tom was born August 6, 1934 in Portland, Maine to Christian and Carolyn Pandora. Tom joined the Navy in 1952, he was in the submarine division where he did a spy mission off the coast of Russia during Korean War, and was stationed in Hawaii for 2 1/2 years. Tom left the Navy in 1959, he was discharged out in San Francisco and remained there where he worked and later owned Tom’s Dry Dock on 22nd and 3rd for 28 years. It was during that time he met and married Joyce and they enjoyed 26 years together, traveling and enjoying their children and grandchildren. Tom loved to barbecue and feed friends, some of his happiest times were fixing corn beef and cabbage dinners on St. Patrick’s day and having friends and family over to help eat it. After retiring Tom developed a passion for old cars and was a member of the Golden Valley Street Rodders, CHVA, and a former member of Redding Rambling A’s. He was also a member of the Cattlemen’s Association. Tom is survived by his wife, Joyce; three sons, Marty (Arcelia), Rene, and Raymond (Rita); two daughters, Karen (Steve) and Lisa (Stan); two brothers, John and Philip; two sisters, Norma and Margaret. Numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Tom was a foster parent to many boys in the San Francisco area.

Tom sounds like a stand up guy.


  1. cat wrote:

    Thanks!! I saw that sign too and was super curious so I love that you dug up this info.

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  2. Sam wrote:

    Great info Jesse. You are my go to for updates now I can’t live there anymore. Thank you!

    Monday, April 8, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink
  3. Veronica Tougher wrote:

    Tom was one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known. I couldn’t have asked for a better grandfather. He’s missed every day. Thank you for posting this.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink
  4. peter wrote:

    I used to drink there…”Tom’s Drydock”, plus “The Main Mast”, two dockworkers bars, another one on the corner I can’t recall. I got off at 6 am as a cop at Potrero Station…went in and drank until 9 am.

    Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] “Retox got sold to the folks from Range, and the Retox sign got partially taken down, revealing possibly the most fantastic dive bar sign ever.” Tom’s Dry Dock [Dogpatch Howler] […]

  2. […] Don’t forget that the Third Rail used to be Tom’s Drydock, and I wrote a brief article about it: Tom’s Dry Dock […]

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