The gentrification of The City


Above: A bumper stickered stop sign outside Piccino in the Dogpatch.

Almost eerily timed with my visit to the Dogpatch yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a front page story today about gentrification of San Francisco, with the Dogpatch as the front and center example neighborhood. It is crazy to think that just ten years ago, I would have never dared venture into the area. The article discusses how the city’s evolutions are now prompted by young entrepreneurial types (Read: Twitter moving onto a seedy part of Market St., Mark Zuckerberg buying a home in the Mission, etc. etc.).

An excerpt:

But, those changes are largely happening in neighborhoods that have made the progression from urban blight to uber-hot.

Take Dogpatch, an obscure right turn off Third Street south of AT&T Park. Until recently, it was best known as home to the clubhouse of the San Francisco chapter of Hells Angels.

In 2002, Arienne Landry moved her Just for You Cafe from Potrero Hill, but not before she parked her truck on the street for a few days to check out the vibe.

‘It was pretty sketchy, almost industrial,’ says Landry, who had to shoo drug users away from the cafe entrance after she opened.

Now there’s a line out the door for weekend brunch, and she says weekdays have gone from ‘whatever to craziness.’


Just For You Cafe no longer deals with drug pushers and addicts hanging around outside, but instead lines of young professionals hungry for brunch.

PS: I ate at Just For You yesterday. Great breakfast/brunch/lunch diner with a quirky New Orleans-vibe (Landry is from there). The article also references Piccino (see my post yesterday), and quotes a woman saying that the well-reviewed, delicious and upscale restaurant was a major impetus for change in the neighborhood.

Anyway, it’s not like its a totally unwelcome phenomenon, but it has lead to the recent rent surges and many crazy changes. San Francisco is not the city it used to be.

Read more: Gentrification no longer a dirty word

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