75 Years in the Making: Panoramic Views and SOS

March 30, 2021

In last month’s “Marines’ Memorial: 75 Years in the Making,” we reviewed the first year of your Club: from acquiring the building to celebrating our first anniversary. Today, we dedicate this "Look Back" to the history of our 12th floor as we celebrate its reopening!

5-Course Meal in 1946: $1
Panoramic views for the past 75 Years: Priceless

The Marines’ Memorial was founded as a revered gathering place for the men and women who served during WWII. That meant a one-stop-shop for entertainment, boarding, exercise and, some may argue most important, cocktails and dining.

When the Club first opened in 1946, our 12th floor was called the “Skyroom,” where you could get a 5-course meal for under one dollar! For decades, the Skyroom was a spirited forum where Club members, their families, and guests convened for a generously poured high ball and a great Prime Rib.
Happy Hours featured huge trays of cubed “whatever the cooks could find in the refrigerator” and the beloved Helen Tweedy played the piano while singing your favorite tune. The staff, as they continue to be, were a major part of the experience, tenured and committed to the members.
San Francisco has always been a foodies’ paradise and as other restaurants around the city began to grow in popularity, the Skryoom began to disappear off many “must visit” lists. So, in the early 2000’s, leading up to our 60th Anniversary, the Board of Directors and MMA leadership decided to create a dining experience as spectacular as the view. Thus, the Skyroom was rebranded, and The Leatherneck Steakhouse was born! Many of the elements of our beloved restaurant were based off a team-favorite steakhouse located in Palm Springs, CA.
Our most-loved meals have ranged from traditional favorites to over-the-top fare. These menu items have included fresh off the cob creamed corn, roasted brussels sprouts with hickory smoked bacon, a variety of Angus and USDA Prime meats, Truffle Tater Tots, and the sometimes divisive but always familiar, breakfast of SOS.
As our beloved Corps has evolved over the years, so has the Steakhouse. After an unprecedented year of forced closure, the 12th floor has recently reopened as Chesty’s Bar & Grill, an homage to Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine in history, and the beloved Marine Corps Bulldog Mascot. This rebranding allows the Club to provide the camaraderie, libations, and views our members love, while working within the required pandemic guidelines and limited capacity.


No matter the name, or the menu, this spot and the many celebrations it has witnessed will forever be in the hearts of our members and supporters. What’s your favorite memory from the 12th floor?