Sir Francis Drake Hotel doorman retiring after 43 years in San Francisco

When I joined the San Francisco Chronicle in the mid-1980s, I lived on Nob Hill and rode the cable car to work down Powell Street to the newspaper building at 5th and Mission Streets. We passed some S.F. landmarks along them way: the Fairmont Hotel, Sears Fine Food (famous for its Swedish pancakes), and Tom Sweeney, San Francisco’s famous Beefeater-cloaked doorman.

Tom greeted visitors at the threshold of Union Square’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel for over four decades. Like others, I remember seeing Tom greeting everyone who walked by the hotel.

“He’s so much more than a doorman,” said Kevin Carroll, director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco. “He’s one of those people that when you go home you’ll talk about how special he made you feel when you arrived at that hotel.”

Sweeney, who’s been a fixture out front of the Sir Francisco Drake since 1976, plans to retire in January, capping a long career as Union Square’s most recognizable figure, as NBC Bay Area is reporting. Good luck Tom, and thanks for the memories!

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

2 thoughts on “Sir Francis Drake Hotel doorman retiring after 43 years in San Francisco”

  1. I lived in the Bay Area from 1966 to 1984 and have wonderful memories generally. Have you read “Season of the Witch” which is about that period, starting with the 1987 Summer of a Love?

    Sent from my iPad


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