NPR logo Lou 'the Glue' Marcelli: An 'Old Stove' of S.F.

Lou 'the Glue' Marcelli: An 'Old Stove' of S.F.

Lou and His Friends on Life at the Dolphin Club

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Lou Marcelli Laura Folger hide caption

toggle caption
Laura Folger

Lou's Fish Tale: Cooking While Stuck in a Boat in Alaska

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Lou Marcelli and his pals at the Dolphin Club have been swimming the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay together for as long as they can remember — more than 50 years. Marcelli loves to cook after warming up. Depending on the day, he might grab a bag of fresh calamari he picked up that morning on the pier, and head into the club's 120-year-old kitchen to make his legendary pasta calamari.

Marcelli is known as "an old stove" — the term people in North Beach have for someone who has put in some serious time in the kitchen. His nickname is "the Glue" — because, he says, "I have the tendency to hang around in one spot."

The average age of Marcelli and his friends is somewhere in the mid-70s. The average amount of time they spend swimming: half an hour. Afterwards, they linger in the club's common kitchen, talking and eating together as they have for decades.

Talking Recipes

Hear Lou Recite His Recipe for Pasta Calamari

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Story Contributors

Produced by The Kitchen Sisters. Mixed by Jim McKee. Our thanks to Lou Marcelli, "Moon," the Sancimino family and all the members of San Francisco's Dolphin Club.

Stories Along the Road

A growing collection of stories, exclusive to, gathered along the road in our quest to document America’s kitchen cultures.

More 'Hidden Kitchens'