No Foos Is Bad News

Where have all the foosball tables gone in SF?

The city has faced many devastating losses: the AIDS epidemic, diminishing enrollment in elementary schools, and the death of Herb Caen. But there is another casualty that has gone by mostly unnoticed by the rest of us. Yes, we're talking about foosball. "Back in the day," says Amy Wong-Thai, treasurer of the Yahoo SF Foos club, "you couldn't go into a bar in this city without seeing a foos table. They were everywhere in the '70s and '80s."

Along with at least 100 other members, Amy and other SF Foos are trying to bring back San Francisco's latent foosball fixation. Unfortunately, so far things aren't going so good. First, there are only a handful of places with tables here. Of those, only one or two places have tables that are actually workable if you are sober. "A lot of places have tables that are beat up, broken, or have the little guys put on backwards," says Wong-Thai.

The best table in the city, according to most enthusiasts, was at the Rockit Room. But the Rockit Room just removed it last week. D'oh!

Before that, the SF Foos set up tournaments at Place Pigalle, the other place with the good table. That was until SF Weekly's own Bouncer wrote about the event and compared the bar's bathroom to a Kandahar shit ditch. The owner, Greg Noto, didn't take too kindly to this, and promptly barred SF Foos from playing there again, despite the fact that the players had nothing to do with her story. To be fair, he cited other reasons for the dismissal, notably that he suspected the players of not buying enough booze.

So now the Foos are looking for a new venue. Alex Tsang, the group's co-founder and arguably best player, is very frustrated. "For now, I am like a Ronin," he says, "for I have no San Francisco location to play a decent game of foosball."

It's possible that there are some nicely hidden, well-maintained foosball tables out there. If so, the group would really like to hear about it. Until then, they will have to roam the city like lost foosball samurai.

 
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