SAN FRANCISCO - When the tectonic plates shifted last Friday night, a new social-media sensation was born. ‘Dollarita Steve’ went viral.
While some we spoke with said they felt the ground shake during the magnitude 3.7 temblor, Steve Mazzari swooped in to shake things up on the internet.
Our camera person caught up with him right after the quake struck. He was at Fisherman's Wharf hanging out with friends on a Friday night at Applebee's. He was rechristened because of this interview.
"I was just slammin' ‘Dollaritas’ up at the Applebee's with some friends and it was a big shake." Shortly after this moment was captured on camera, an X-post was sent from the KTVU account just ahead of the 10 o'clock News. Maybe it was how it was written, maybe it was how Mazzari's hand gesture was captured at just the right moment. Maybe it was his push-broom mustache. Perhaps it was all of these things that made the post quickly gain traction. As of this writing, it's garnered 3.5 million views and more than 12,000 likes.
Mazzari left quite the impression and is handling his newfound fame with grace, taking it in stride. It was the quintessential local news-meets social media moment where timing is everything.
Many commented to say they identified with Mazzari's thirst for inexpensive drinks. But judging by the quote reposts and comments, Mazzari has become a bit of a thirst trap himself.
Sure there were a few who said he bared resemblance to Borat; others remarked how this "tweet" from SF couldn't be more Boston. One person even called him a "crisis actor."
But the point is, there was overwhelming support for Mazzari and how he in that one moment, encapsulated an undeniable Friday night vibe. The response was refreshingly positive.
His sincerity and intent reminded us during a rough week of another mass shooting in America and the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, that one: it's important to have fun on a Friday night. Two: you can still get dollar cocktails in San Francisco, and three: yes, there is an Applebee's in San Francisco at Fisherman's Wharf.
Steve Mazzari, a 6-year Bay Area resident says he was "slammin Dollaritas" at the Applebees Fishermans Wharf when a magnitude 3.7 earthquake epicentered near Millbrae struck.
On Tuesday, Mazzari joined KTVU in-studio for a follow-up, live interview. He said the past few days have been "utter mayhem" and that everyone he's ever known texted him. He jokingly said he's learned a lot about where he stands on X (formerly Twitter) among certain communities.
Asked if he's had any favorite comments, he quipped, "There's been a few that I cannot repeat on this family network." However, he's been enjoying the "Dudes Rock" catchphrase and the "New guy just dropped." Both comments have been popular echoes on the platform.
"It's been very beautiful. It's been very stressful, but it's been a hell of a ride."
As for his appetite for those now infamous ‘Dollaritas’, he said this: "Every Sunday, prime time football. That commercial comes on. Ozzy Osbourne starts screamin'. The volume gets cranked to 11. It's just unapologetically American. We'd been kinda riffin' about it and finally I said, on that Friday; enough is enough. I'm going. You can come with me if you want. And three of us…three other people came, and we had a few, just the right amounts, surgeon general recommended dosage of ‘Dollarita’ and the rest is history."
So what was a six-year Bay Area resident doing at the tourist trap of Fisherman's Wharf on a Friday night, let alone Applebee's?
"It is the only one. I checked. I had been there once many years ago, also kind of ironically. I don't go there often. I had to do what I had to do to get the deal. Can you blame me?"
The ‘Dollarita’ deal concludes today, Oct. 31, by the way.
If the image didn't convey it enough, as many had commented, the sound of his voice was a clear giveaway that ‘Dollarita Steve’ is a Bay Area transplant. The New Jersey native said he moved here after college and fell in love with the city. "I'm a software engineer just like everyone else. I'm so sorry. But it's just how I pay the bills."
In the green room he told us he was sporting a sweatshirt for the startup he works for, Mentaya, a site that claims to simplify mental health for therapists and patients alike.
He summed up that fateful Friday night by saying, other than the earthquake, it was all about "Eatin' good in the neighborhood."
Ahead of his KTVU in-studio appearance, Mazzari took time out of his busy day to collect on the last day of the ‘Dollarita’ deal. He filled a thermos with his favorite beverage and he and KTVU's Greg Lee shared a swig on set.
In summation, our humble hero radiates positivity to the last drop. "I appreciate the love a lot. Everyone's just been really nice and fun. I never have a plan. I'm just living in the moment. Every now and then life just gives you dollar margaritas with your friends."