An Authentic Irish Pub & Restaurant
The Chieftain is located one block from the Moscone Convention Center, only a short walk from many of downtown San Francisco's most familiar hotels, attractions, and eclectic businesses. If you're looking to have one of the best pub experiences of your life, you've come to the right place.
Our Irish pub is named after the first High King of Ireland, Brian Boru (c. 940-1014), and a more recent Irish Chieftain, Michael Collins (known as "The Big Fellow"). In December 1921, Michael Collins signed an Anglo-Irish treaty agreement with Britain which was later ratified by Dáil Éireann & the British House of Commons, enacting the Irish Free State.
The Chieftain's identity is intertwined with the 50 million Americans who claim Irish heritage. It's this Celtic identity that inspired two sets of brothers from Ireland, the Nagle's from County Kerry and the McVeigh's from County Clare, to place their Irish roots in the form of an authentic Irish pub & restaurant in the heart of downtown San Francisco.
The building that houses The Chieftain is a historical landmark built in 1912. Originally called the M&M Tavern, our pub was opened by Martin McVeigh in 1934 just after the Prohibition repeal.
The M&M quickly became the cornerstone of journalism in San Francisco. It was the home for all levels of workers from the nearby San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner newspapers. After World War II, Martin McVeigh's son Al returned from the Navy and took over the family business. Al owned and managed the M&M Tavern from 1946 to 1989. Check out our Links page for stories and pictures from the M&M days.
The Chieftain was primarily built with mahogany wood and Belgian castle stone, creating a beautiful acoustic environment that is enjoyed at all our live music and sporting events. The Chieftain has hosted hundreds of parties and we are a recognized sports bar to come and enjoy your favorite American as well as international sporting matches, including soccer, rugby, baseball, and football to name a few.
The Chieftain offers a large selection of the World's finest beers and spirits, including an outstanding 20oz "Perfect Pint" of Guinness!
Join the conversation and share memories at our Irish pub!
Keeping the Irish Pub & Irish Restaurant Tradition Alive Since 2001
Founded by two sets of brothers from Ireland, the Nagle's from County Kerry and the McVeigh's from County Clare, The Chieftain Irish Pub and Restaurant is dedicated to keeping our Irish heritage alive and spreading our beloved traditions to the San Francisco community each and every day, which is part of what makes us one of the best pubs around.
The Chieftain Irish Pub and Restaurant is set in a gorgeous stone building that was built in 1912. It was originally called the M&M Tavern and operated as a pub and the home for all San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner newspaper workers. The McVeigh's and the Nagle's named their pub after the first High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, and a more recent Irish Chieftain, Michael Collins. Michael Collins was responsible for signing an Anglo-Irish treaty agreement with Britain in 1921 that later enacted the Irish Free State.
Today, The Chieftain is the best pub for Irish whiskey, live Irish music, happy hours, and more. We take our role as an Irish restaurant in downtown San Francisco seriously. Whether you are straight from the Emerald Isle or have never left California, we welcome you to join us for a traditional Irish meal, a pint of Guinness, a large selection of Irish whiskey, and a grand old time! We have hosted countless parties for all of life’s celebrations. Stop in today to our local Irish bar and enjoy happy hour deals and daily lunch specials, live Irish music, and watch international sporting matches.