Just came across this expression in an article on Coffee Dan’s.
It was Prohibition and Coffee Dan’s was now a “ham & egger.” Ham & egger was code for a speakeasy, and Dan’s sold more ham and eggs than anyone in the city.
Nothing in OED however, which defines the phrase thus:
ham-and-egger n. U.S. slang (freq. depreciative) a person or thing regarded as average, mediocre, or (occas.) stupid or inferior; spec. (esp. in early use) an average or incompetent boxer (cf. sense A. 5).
1911 Chicago Tribune 27 Apr. 21/2 [Jack] Johnson started home on the Overland, but was switched at Omaha to a train he designated as a ‘ham and egger’.
1930 Amer. Mercury Jan. 104/2 G’wan beat it before I get up an’ knock you two ham-an’-eggers down the stairs!
1968 Films in Rev. Dec. 647/2 The then heavyweight champion plays around in a staged ‘fight’ with a ham-n-egger from New Jersey.
1999 J. Grisham Testament 324 Because they were big-firm lawyers they quite naturally looked down upon the type of unethical behavior being..condoned by Grits and Bright and the other ham-and-eggers.
I hadn’t heard of that sense either. Did the OED just miss the speakeasy sense or was it perhaps slang peculiar to the SF area?