Jay Allen Sanford 11 a.m., Feb. 20
Tivoli Bar: Older than Waterfront?
So which is the oldest pub town?
Down here in the Stingaree, they don’t doubt it. The Tivoli (505 6th Avenue, at Island) is it. (Locals call it "I Lov It," "Tivoli" spelt backwards).
“Yes, The  Waterfront’s liquor license may be older since Prohibition,” says Rosemary the gal behind the counter at the Tivoli. “But we were here in this very building serving liquor back in 1885.”
Of course the Tivoli’s signs only claim the bar's the oldest in the Gaslamp.
If you want back-up, look at the old photos above the pool cue rack. Bunch of hombres leaning on this self-same bar, late 1800s.
That bar counter was shipped here back in the day around Cape Horn. “We had to cover the bar in marble recently,” says Rosemary. “It was getting too pocked. But it’s right there, underneath.”
The old bar, with its new marble overlay
But look at the ornate, gnarly backboard that glows with bottles and mirrors and gold scrolling in the photo. It’s here, unchanged.
Also back in the day, upstairs used to be a brothel. Now it’s just long-term room rentals and the pub’s offices.
The cash register (see it in the old photo above)
If you need more evidence this is a genu-wine Wild West saloon, look up to the two pictures above the old curved glass corner doors. Reputed customer, “Republican” Wyatt Earp stands on the right, “in San Diego 1887-1892,” and his sexily clad true-love Josephine stands on the left.
They say his eyes follow you where e’re you go, jes' to make sure you boys don’t get outta hand.