Potrero Hill and Dogpatch Have a Story to Tell
Take a dockside neighborhood with an industrial past and merge it with 21st century residential redevelopment. Along the eastern reaches of San Francisco, this is the waterfront’s story of change. It’s a lesser known part of the city, a historic neighborhood offering pleasant surprises that will appeal to anyone wanting to know more about how San Francisco came to be. For the whole story, head east to historic Dogpatch and Potrero Hill.
Steeper and Steeped in History
Named in Spanish for its 18th century sheep grazing pastures, Potrero was settled following the Gold Rush. Waves of European immigrants followed even before Mission Bay was filled in, connecting the neighborhood to the mainland. Today, it’s a peaceful slope with stunning views of the downtown skyline, the bay or Twin Peaks. Neither edgy nor late-night, the vibe is a bit suburban and sunnier than most of the city.
Local experts would want to debate claims to the steepest and crookedest street in all of San Francisco, saying that it’s not on Russian Hill or Nob Hill, but right here in Potrero Hill. Visitors interested in checking this out can head for Vermont Street between 20th and 22nd Street. While not as picturesque as Lombard Street, Vermont Street is shorter and steeper, even though there are seven sharp turns where Lombard Street has eight. Perhaps the jury is still out after all.
Restaurant reputations are on the rise. Even before opening time, lines form outside the front door of small places serving sought-after breakfasts. In yet another space, a rustic warehouse repurposed as an eatery, the setting is as successful as the kitchen.
Dogpatch’s Indie Lifestyle
No one is quite certain how this neighborhood of nine square blocks filled with Victorian cottages and repurposed industrial warehouses got its name. We do know that it is one of San Francisco’s oldest areas, having survived the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906. At every corner a telltale brown historic district sign reminds visitors of Dogpatch’s working class shipbuilding 19th century roots, while contemporary interiors are filled with edgy interior design studios. At 2569 Third Street, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, is The Museum of Craft and Design.
As the latest chapter in the gentrification of Dogpatch enters its second decade, independent businesses are blossoming. Morning can begin with coffee and a huge sugar-dusted beignet or at a Dogpatch café where hearty southern comfort food is served hot. A handful of chocolate factories, a husband-and-wife winery, artisan cocktail bars and dining rooms are among the local establishments run by dedicated and talented folks from the neighborhood.
The Original Anchor Steam Beer
A fabled San Francisco original since 1896, Anchor Steam Beer is America’s first and oldest craft brewery. Tours are conducted inside the traditional copper brewhouse located at 1705 Mariposa Street in Potrero Hill, complete with a tasting flight afterwards. In 2015, Anchor begins expanding production to a facility at Pier 48 with plans for a restaurant, museum, educational center and more.
The T-Third Street train is a light rail system connecting Market Street and the Embarcadero to the 20th Street and 23rd Street stations.