For a couple of decades, Tony and I used to have a breakfast or lunch at Flipper's, a greasy spoon in Hayes Valley which was presided over brilliantly by Kirby, a 300-pound drag queen who returned to Texas last year when the restaurant closed.
The place has now become Anina, a bar operated by the same people who own Brass Tacks, which took over Marlena's a couple of years ago next door, and the asphalt garden is open during the daytime as a beer garden that also features "low-proof libations."
The clientele seems to be young, beautiful, and smart, sort of Zeitgeist meets Silicon Valley.
The quartet we shared a picnic table were welcoming and charming, and a perfect representation of California right now. From left to right, we were talking to a North Carolina blond, an Israeli woman who looked like a 1960s movie star, a Pakistani, and a Texas woman living with her French husband in Redwood City. I hope Kirby would approve.