WHEN A.P. “PETE” PELLOLIO sat down for a game of poker at one of his favorite watering holes at 881 Fourth Street back in 1951, he wasn’t expecting to win not only the game, but
a family business that would span three generations and counting. But he did. Today at the helm
is grandson John Pellolio, just back from time spent in Europe as a gemologist. Now located at
721 Lincoln in San Rafael, this spacious one-room (plus an outdoor patio) saloon is possibly more
sports bar than actual dive, but it still made our list. Secret to the longevity? It could be that it’s
the only legal gambling spot in Marin with a daily Texas hold ’em game or that the kitchen stays
open until 1 a.m. or that there are 10 TVs constantly broadcasting sports games. However, most
would agree it’s the warmth of the Pellolio family — patrons love to order Grandpa Pete’s Chicken
Anselmo — that keep folks coming back for more.
WHAT THEY SAY
John Pellolio, owner
Is Pete’s 881 a dive bar? By definition, yes.
Your definition? Beer, booze, sports, pool
table, darts, strong local clientele.
Define Pete’s 881? Patrons are like
family. Great place to watch a game, have
a cheap cocktail and enjoy great food.
Games? Four poker tables, one
pool table, two dartboards.
Celebrity photos? Yes, autographed
Joe Montana, Mr. Miyagi and
TV is always on? Yes, all 10.
PBR available? Yes, on tap.
Muddled cocktails? Only for
Fake fireplace? No.
Food is served in bags? No — chef
Pete’s 881 T-shirts? Yes.
DIVE BAR CHECKLIST
PETE’S 881 CLUB
721 Lincoln Avenue, San Rafael