North Beach

History

The history of San Francisco's North Beach is extensive and also intriguing at the same time. It stretches into the early stages of the city itself, and has attracted tourists for decades. This has resulted in the neighborhood designated as one of the ten "Greatest Neighborhoods in America". Its attractions, monuments, and restaurants stretch from the early stages of North Beach's construction, to recently made businesses bursting with promise and fortune.

First, the early stages of this section of San Francisco will be explored. The area we now call North Beach was once a real beach, until it was filled with soil some years ago. It was initially, and until recently, infamous for its large gathering of strip clubs. Although this seems to be blight on North Beach's reputation, many profited from such clubs, and contributed greatly to North Beach's popularity. Also, the Mabuhay Gardens, an important venue of the punk rock trend in the late 1970s to mid 1980s, was found on the Broadway strip of North Beach.

However, as time went on, many attractions disappeared as economic problems took their tolls on many of the small businesses. Its colorful pastimes winded down, though not yet completely gone. The variety of events still going on includes large street fair on Father's Day every year. This is precluded by a parade on Columbus Day, stretching from Columbus Avenue to the Aquatic Park. Other attractions include the National Shrine at Vallejo and Columbus, and St. Peter and Paul Church on Filbert, north of Washington Square.


"The area we now call North Beach was once a real beach, until it was filled with soil some years ago."