1906 Dining Opportunities
The photo belongs to Lauren, who says
“Now, if I can only figure out why it was in the photo album in inherited from ancestors who lived in North Beach and survived the earthquake. The tall guy in the back is circled, if you zoom in, but he doesn’t look like one of my relatives. Maybe a family friend.”
…and figured out that this was taken in taken in La Lengua, looking west at the intersection of San Jose Ave and Army Street (where St. Luke’s currently sits). The Bancroft Library would have been to the left of and a little behind the photographer.
You can see the buildings behind it on the 1905 Sanborn fire insurance map.
Unfortunately, all those houses along San Jose Ave were torn down in the 1960s to build the ever exciting St. Luke’s parking lot.
Open for breakfast, dinner and supper! (7:15 seems a little early to cut off supper though.)
I was able to dig up an article on the restaurant and its founder David Nieto from the San Francisco Call using the all-powerful California Digital Newspaper Archives.
Adjusting for inflation, the meals ran from about $3.75 to $20. I would love to see a menu. (The SFFD Museum has some details on post-quake relief supplies and food distribution — sounds like it was pretty basic, though $20? I’m intrigued.)
But this being in the SF Call, there’s drama to come. Uh oh! It looks like two of his other kitchens (on 19th & Dolores, and 16th & Carolina) got shut down in August 1906 for risk of flies and typhoid.
Nieto is a pretty distinct name, and there are lots of results for him in the SF Call. Seems like red tape got in the way of him getting reimbursed for his soup kitchen work. Soup Kitchen Man Is Angry!
So David Neito’s got to be in the photo, right?
When we have our big earthquake, I suspect food trucks will play an important part of San Francisco’s rapid recovery. At least they will have a track record.
Also visible on the Sanborn map is the Buckingham & Hecht shoe factory, which is still standing today as part of the Salvation Army:
One of many ads for a San Francisco company emphasizing they were still in business.
Fret not, Buckingham & Hecht is on my list of things to write about some day. Anyone been inside?