Small Business

Talkin’ Shop with ‘Pissed Off ’ Pete Whitcomb

Pete Whitcomb really isn’t more pissed off than most people, he’s just known for speaking his mind and the nickname made for a great bar name.

“I say what people don’t want to say, in this society where everybody speaks only behind other people’s backs,” Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb has owned Pissed Off Pete’s since 2006. Located on Mission Street be-tween Harrington Street and Santa Rosa Avenue, in the same spot where other dive bars have opened and closed for more than a century, he says.

The bar is a way for him to be “here for the neighborhood,” he said, and he hopes to cater to the surroundings so that people don’t feel like they have to travel to other districts to have a cozy or entertaining night.

“I’ve come to this bar since I was eighteen,” he said. He has made it his goal to maintain a “nice clean bar, with no nonsense,” in contrast to all the “bad” ones that preceded it.

“I want people to be comfortable,” Whitcomb said. “I don’t want anyone to be scared to come here.”

An Excelsior native, his mother still lives in the house where he was born and raised.

During the last decade, Whitcomb has seen the neighborhood change. Businesses have been shutting down and new people are moving to the area because the rest of the city is so unaffordable that “they have no choice,” he said.

Whitcomb would like to see the neighbor-hood become more than just the “casinos, taquerías, massage centers, produce markets [and] pot clubs. What’s wrong with wanting something else?” he said.

And even though he doesn’t drink coffee, he would rather see a Starbucks pop up than another Mexican or Chinese restaurant, he said. He wants to clean up and promote the district, to liven up the corridor, without gentrifying it.

“The Excelsior is a good working class and family neighborhood. And I don’t wanna lose that,” he said.