Potrero Hill: A Treat at Every Turn
June 21, 2011 • Posted in San Francisco
In many ways, Potrero Hill defies the odds. Sunshine is plentiful (or, at least, it’s one of the first places in the City to enjoy sunny skies). You get a small town vibe with big city views. Getting around is easy and travel can move in any direction—from easy access to the Mission and Noe Valley, to Mission Bay, UCSF and AT&T Park, as well as Silicon Valley and the Peninsula via 280 or 101. Locals would argue that Vermont Street (go south from McKinley Park)—not Lombard—has the City’s most hairpin cuves.
For decades, much of Potrero was uninhabited land. In its early, early days—before the Spanish missionaries grazed cattle on the hill, Native Americans used it as a hunting ground. It was the Spanish who coined the name that still resonates today: Potrero Nuevo, or “new pasture.” Beyond the sheep, the region was the center of shipbuilding, which in turn was the source of many of the hill’s street names (from Texas to Mississippi – it’s ships not states that city officials were celebrating). Ships and spacious warehouses ruled the region until the 1990s, when much of the real estate was converted to cool, open space offices and residential lofts.
The pulse of Potrero is 18th Street, between Connecticut and Texas streets. And for many of the locals, the heart of the Hill is Farley’s with a morning cup of coffee and some neighborhood warmth. Lunch next door at Hazel’s, a jewelbox of a sandwich shop, is always yummy (and since there’s not a seat in the house, you an enjoy your eats next door or out in the sun). Cool shops, from vintage wares (and wears) to wine and books are all on the hill. For the blooming artists at the nearby California College of Arts and on the hill, Arch has it all (including plenty of free parking). And for the aspiring chef, California Culinary Academy’s Le Cordon Bleu Program is a draw.
For more than 30 years, neighbors have been enjoying summer months and sweeping views of the Mission, Twin Peaks and more at the Potrero Hill Community Garden. Swapping gardening tips and crops, from heirloom tomatoes and veggies to plenty of dahlias, the official flower of San Francisco is part of the charm. There are 50+ gardens operating under the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, with membership open to any resident of the city—no pesticides allowed.
After the sun goes down, there’s a host of great restaurants and funky music spots to enjoy. Chez Papa brings the South of France a step closer with its gourmet menu and high-energy vibe. Poquito is quintessential SF—tiny and tasty Latin American tapas and cocktails that keep locals happy. Monday night many head to Goat Hill Pizza, where $10.95 will get you all the pizza and salad you like. Tuesday and Wednesday at Goat Hill is a fun stop too—especially with the sweet jazz piano of Harold Bradford. Bottom of the Hill and The Parkside are two local favorite spots to enjoy up and coming bands, dance and toast with friends.
Potrero Hill: The Coordinates
Bounded by 16th, Third and Cesar Chavez streets and Potrero Avenue.
Average Sale Price: $778,000
Days on Market: 74
# Properties on Market: 33