Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
One side of Matt Sterling's lineage is a big, Irish Catholic family.
In Part 1, the bartender and pub quiz host delves into his family's history in San Francisco. Three generations ago, great-grandparents came here from Ireland, established their roots, and had kids. Matt's maternal grandma was one of them.
She grew up in Ingleside and raised seven kids of her own, including Matt's mom. Matt says that on his mom's side, he's got 23 cousins and he knows them all pretty well. Through his mom and his aunts and uncles, Matt shares stories from the neighborhood back in the 1960s. He describes Thanksgiving dinners, first at his grandmother's house and then at his own home, where somewhere around 50 family guests showed up.
Matt's dad came to the US from the Philippines when he was 22. He got married and had three kids, but that marriage ended in divorce. Then Matt's parents met when they both worked for the SFPD. His dad was an officer and his mom worked a desk job. The couple had Matt and his sister for a total of five kids.
His dad worked many different beats around The City in the thirty-plus years he worked as a cop. As his family started to grow with the arrival of Matt and his sister, his dad found a larger home in Daly City. Matt tells us some of his earliest memories, including going to Catholic school in South San Francisco and later, Sacred Heart in SF. He ran cross country, which helped him get to know San Francisco really well.
Matt ends Part 1 talking about various excursions in The City that sealed the fate of his moving here for him.
In Part 2, Matt talks about places in the US that his family traveled before Matt went to college in Santa Cruz. He shares what went into his decision to stay close to home for school. He graduated in five years and stayed one extra because he didn't want to leave.
Then he came back to what is essentially his hometown: San Francisco. His first place was at the top of Telegraph Hill and he loved living in North Beach. He worked in catering, and despite the recession that hit in 2008, never lost his job.
Matt still loves to travel, but like our host Jeff, he always loves coming home to San Francisco. He tells us about jobs he's had since his return to living here, including at the Edgewood Center for Children and Families. After Edgewood, Matt started working for Tonic Nightlife Group, which owns a few bars here in The City.
From here, we go on a sidetrack about what being from here means to Matt. He talks about his never-ending appreciation for all the sites and attractions in The City.
Hosting pub quizzes started for Matt at Tonic Bar in 2014. He shares that story for us. Matt wrote the San Francisco trivia we read and guests competed in at our first ever pub quiz. That was at "We're Still Here" back in September.
Pub quizzes went virtual when the pandemic began, and they remain online (and in person) today.
We end the podcast with Matt's response to our Season 4 theme: We're still here.
We recorded this podcast at Soda Popinski's on Nob Hill in November 2021.