Erik Dean was killed in a motorcycle accident July 8. He was well known around the San Francisco bar scene, having worked in numerous establishments throughout the city. (Photo; Courtesy Brent Jones)
Erik Dean had just finished working back-to-back shifts as a bartender at Absinthe and Sauce on Belden Place in San Francisco early on July 8, when he hopped on a motorcycle to make the nightly trip home.
Minutes later, around 2:30 a.m., he was broadsided by a car that ran a red light at Sutter Street and Van Ness Avenue. Though conscious and responsive when paramedics arrived, Dean, 51, died later that night while in surgery at San Francisco General Hospital.
The driver of the car was cooperative with law enforcement and was not arrested, though the police and district attorney’s office continue to investigate the crash.
Dean had been a mainstay around the San Francisco bar scene for more than three decades, having worked at Absinthe Bar and Brasserie, Sauce, The Polo Grounds (then called The Park), MoMo’s, Paragon, Mecca, Betelnut, The Old Ship, Gordon’s House of Fine Eats, The Caribbean Zone and DV8 in the 1980s. He also trained many of the bartenders who work at watering holes throughout the city.
To his friends, Dean was more than just a guy slinging drinks. Well known for his adventurous spirit, he had ridden his motorcycle from Mexico to Canada, taken numerous treks to southeast Asia and spoke of plans for his next road trip the last time he and his friend Brent Jones saw each other.
“He was a phenomenal character who always had a story to tell,” Jones said. “He lived an unbelievably full life.”
A Facebook page was set up in his memory and his friends will gather to celebrate him Sunday on Belden Place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. before moving to Comstock in North Beach.