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Famed Washington Square bar in North Beach to be new Lillie Coit-themed restaurant

Coit Tower was built in Pioneer Park atop Telegraph Hill in 1933 at the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the City of San Francisco and pay tribute to its fireman. | Lance Iversen/SF Chronicle via Getty Images

The shuttered Washington Square Bar & Grill in North Beach is set to become a new restaurant—named after San Francisco’s most famous firewoman. 

Hole in the Wall coffee owner Nick Floulis is opening the new restaurant, named Lillie Coit’s. 

It will include a full-service restaurant helmed by Adam Hinojosa. The appropriately-named new eatery will be in sight of the volunteer firefighter memorial statue, with the slim column of Coit Tower just beyond it. 

The location of a new Lillie Coit-themed restaurant that is opening in the shuttered Washington Square Bar & Grill in North Beach in San Francisco, Calif. on Sept. 30, 2022. | Julie Zigoris/The Standard

Floulis estimates the new restaurant at 1707 Powell Street will be open to the public by spring 2023 after a “substanital remodel” is complete. 

In the meantime, he is using the space for private and community events, like a Halloween-themed bash with drag entertainment on Oct. 27 that will benefit unhoused and low-income neighbors in North Beach.

The Fireman's Memorial Sculpture by Haig Patigian in North Beach on Sept. 30, 2022. | Julie Zigoris/The Standard

Previous occupant Washington Square Bar & Grill, nicknamed ‘Washbag’ by legendary San Francisco columnist Herb Caen, was a beloved gathering place for the cultural elite of the city before it shuttered in 2010

With another San Francisco cultural icon memorialized in the space, so begins a new story for the storefront in one of the city’s busiest neighborhoods for eating and drinking destinations. 

As legend has it, Lillie Hitchcock Coit became an honorary member of San Francisco’s Knickerbocker Engine Company No. 5 after witnessing—and being saved from—a fire. 

She advocated for city firefighters her entire life, wearing her No. 5 badge proudly, fighting fires and donating her wealth to the beautification of San Francisco, monies that were eventually used for the construction of Coit Tower.