Daly not shaken by union leader's call for boycott of his bar 

He raised hell as a San Francisco supervisor, but now Chris Daly is catching hell as a businessman.

Local labor boss Larry Mazzola Sr. has called on union members and their supporters to boycott Daly’s venture in the private sector, Buck Tavern.

The drinking haunt at 1655 Market St. has become a popular spot among political operatives, reporters, elected officials and the like.

But Mazzola, the business manager for UA Local 38, the plumbers and pipefitters union, is keeping his bitter feud with Daly alive, even though Daly was termed out of office Jan. 8.

“I am urging all union supporters to boycott the Buck Tavern,” Mazzola wrote in a recent letter to union members.

Mazzola describes Daly as a longtime enemy of Local 38 and the Building Trades Council, and he said it would “take endless pages” to tell of “all of the problems our union has had with Daly.”

The bar is located just a few doors down from the union’s headquarters.

“[Mazzola] can’t get over the fact that Chris Daly is running a bar on the same block as the plumbers union,” said Supervisor John Avalos, Daly’s political ally and a frequent Buck Tavern patron.

Mazzola and Daly battled several times when Daly was in office. In 2009, the bitterness erupted during a public meeting, with Daly fuming over the proposed appointment of Mazzola’s son, Larry Mazzola Jr., to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District board of directors. Daly and his progressive allies wound up blocking Mazzola’s appointment.

“As a supervisor Daly opposed labor backed ordinances and appointees, including projects that would have meant work for our members,” Mazzola wrote.

Mazzola did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

What does Daly think of all this? He’s seemingly basking in the attention.

"Larry Mazzola hates San Francisco,” Daly said, calling his bar, which he co-owns with Ted Strawser, a “special place in the lore that is San Francisco” and an “up-and-coming establishment.”

Daly said Mazzola’s boycott call was “so f---ing great” that he went to a print shop and asked for it to be printed it up as large as possible.

“I posted it in my bar,” Daly said. “My partner, Teddy [Strawser], wants to print up T-shirts.”

And this new bar owner is not showing any concerns about how the boycott might hurt his bottom line.

“Business is gangbusters,” Daly said. “The boycott, I think, is bringing me extra business.”

Not all labor leaders sounded as if they would be boycotting Daly’s bar.

“I disagree with Larry on this one,” said Gary Delagnes, the president of the Police Officers Association, who fought many political battles against Daly over the years. “I recommend my members go there and bring a homeless person with them and just drink coffee and water.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Turning the (bar) table on Daly


Chris Daly is no stranger to turning to boycotts or using bully tactics when he was a politician. Here are a few examples:

  • Introduced a resolution in May 2010 calling for a boycott of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks until that state repealed Senate Bill 1070, a controversial immigration law.
  • Introduced a resolution calling for a boycott of the Beijing 2008 Olympics opening ceremony.
  • Introduced legislation in June 2007 to ban the Blue Angels, a team of Navy fighter pilots that flies over San Francisco during Fleet Week.
  • Threatened development projects Rincon Hill and Trinity Plaza unless developers agreed to unprecedented amounts of fees and affordable-housing units.  
  • “I will haunt you. I will politically haunt you. It’s on like Donkey Kong.” — Daly to Board of Supervisors President David Chiu last month; Daly accused Chiu of betraying the progressive movement.
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