Doc Ricketts and Doc's Lab
Doc Ricketts Restaurant and the underground venue Doc’s Lab are located on the western edge of the Jackson Square Historic District—a neighborhood with a long history of food and entertainment dating back to the Barbary Coast Era of the Gold Rush. Doc Ricketts and Doc’s Lab’s extensive renovations preserved the 1911 building.
Doc Ricketts chef Kurt Steeber offers his guests creative, refined and approachable Northern California cuisine. His food celebrates San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions’ fresh ingredients, while also showcasing an in-house charcuterie program. The thoughtfully designed wine list and artisan cocktails complement Deering’s menu.
Downstairs from the restaurant is Doc’s Lab, a gathering place for music, comedy, and literary events. This basement originally housed a dance hall, then the legendary comedy and music venue The Purple Onion. Over decades many musicians, comedians, and artists performed (and some even launched their careers) at The Purple Onion—including Phyllis Diller, The Kingston Trio, The Smothers Brothers, Maya Angelou, Richard Pryor, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Bob Newhart, Lenny Bruce, Jim Nabors, Judah Friedlander, and Zach Galifianakis.
Doc Ricketts and Doc’s Lab get their name from the renowned American marine biologist Ed Ricketts. Ricketts lived in Monterey during the 30’s and 40’s, and became a prominent member of the community. In his lab, night after night he hosted writers, artists, scientists, philosophers, musicians, and locals. Author John Steinbeck, who was a close friend, created “Doc”, the beloved main character in his book Cannery Row after Ricketts. Doc and other characters inspired by Ricketts also appeared in Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday (Doc), and The Grapes of Wrath (Jim Casy).