Anthony Bourdain called Jeremiah Tower \u201cthe first sexy chef,\u201d but his legacy goes beyond his looks. Tower ran the kitchen at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, before opening his own restaurant, Stars, in\u00a0San Francisco. There, he pioneered the open kitchen and could be found in his stark-white coat and a magnetic grin\u2014always with a glass of Champagne in hand.\r\n\r\nIf you haven\u2019t heard his name, it\u2019s because he\u2019s been relatively quiet since selling Stars in 1998, minus a short stint at Tavern on the Green and a 2016 documentary about him, Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent. But his legacy lives on. Here, he talks about a moment in restaurant history and one of his most lasting fine-dining contributions: Champagne by the glass.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn the documentary, it seems like Stars might\u2019ve been one of the first bar-focused restaurants at the time. Is that correct? \r\n\r\nIt was certainly, certainly, the first where the bar was in the dining room. We did $3 million in the bar when the cocktails were $3.25. The kitchen was on one side of the restaurant and the bar on the other, with everybody else in between. So, it was amazing theater on both sides. I would also bartend lunch one day a week\u2014a financial disaster because I never did learn how to do credit cards. When I was bartending, the word would get out and the place would be packed because everyone knew they were going to get free drinks!\r\n\r\n"Every night at 6 pm, since I\u2019d been there for 10 hours already, I would go and have a glass of Champagne at the bar and say hello to everyone before heading back into the kitchen."\r\n\r\nStars was also the first restaurant ever to serve Champagne by the glass. Any ideas why that was? \r\n\r\nIt\u2019s just that no one ever thought of drinking Champagne by the glass. Weird, because it seems impossible now. I had talked to a wonderful wine salesperson who worked for Young\u2019s and Veuve Clicquot. I think it was her idea, because I always had Champagne next to me in the kitchen. Within the first year of coming up with that idea, we sold 900 cases of Veuve Clicquot by the glass. I might have drunk 100 of the cases myself though!\r\n\r\nI also wanted them to come directly from France, and once they didn\u2019t. So, I called [the supplier] and said, \u201cYour 30 cases of Champagne are in the street. I saw the code. These came from all around the United States, and that\u2019s not our agreement.\u201d He said, \u201cWell they\u2019re not really on the street.\u201d\u2026 Of course, they weren\u2019t, but he came screeching over in a truck and picked them up. So, they never did that again! On the back of the Champagne label you can see a code, and if you know how to read it, you can see exactly when it left France.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nYou worked very hard in the kitchen. Was Champagne your counterbalance?\u00a0 \r\n\r\nYes, and that\u2019s why every night at 6 pm, since I\u2019d been there for 10 hours already, I would go and have a glass of Champagne at the bar and say hello to everyone before heading back into the kitchen.\r\n\r\nOne of my favorite stories about Stars was the night that this naked homeless streaker came through the restaurant. He came from Golden Gate, and the other entrance was down into the alley, but you had to go the whole length of the restaurant to get to it. I was standing out in the dining room saying hello to somebody, when he came running through. I stopped him and said, \u201cGet this man a glass of Champagne!\u201d There was no, \u201cGet this man out of here,\u201d you know, it was just like, give him some Champagne. And the dining room loved it! Everyone was screaming and clapping. It was a magical restaurant, and since I knew all the rules, I knew I could play with them all. I didn\u2019t break them so much, just played with them.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCould you imagine Stars existing at another place or time?\r\n\r\nNo, I couldn\u2019t. You couldn\u2019t have Danielle Steel wearing a $250,000 Dior, matching $2 million diamonds with two bodyguards, sitting next to a young prom couple who\u2019d saved up for an entire year just to come. You can only do that in San Francisco, in an atmosphere where you\u2019d have the people from the PUC [California Public Utilities Commission] sitting next to Pavarotti. It was ridiculous, and a lot of fun!