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Legacy Businesses

Supporting business that make the city unique

For generations, San Francisco has been home to a thriving landscape of neighborhood businesses that occupy an essential role in the stories and rituals that define the city. These bars, restaurants, cafés, and other small businesses attract locals and visitors alike for a taste of the city’s unique character and sense of community.

These local institutions, imbued with intangible cultural significance, are under ongoing and intense economic pressures. SF Heritage recognized that traditional preservation tools were ineffective and in 2013 launched the Legacy Bars and Restaurants program. The groundbreaking educational initiative promoted long-standing businesses and invited users to experience the history of some of San Francisco’s most legendary eateries and watering holes through a map and online guide. The first-of-its-kind project directly inspired similar programs in municipalities across the county and the creation of the city-run Legacy Business Registry, operated by the San Francisco Office of Small Business.

SF Heritage continues to champion legacy businesses and advocate for the funding and effectiveness of the Legacy Business program. Follow SF Heritage’s Instagram feed for the most up to date news on our legacy business work and promotion.

For our 2021 Soirée, SF Heritage engaged filmmaker and native San Franciscan Joey Yee to create a special video segment on the city’s legacy businesses. In this video, Joey visits some of the city’s most beloved legacy spots — from Buena Vista Cafe to Green Apple Books and Beep’s Burgers — and shares SF Heritage’s history of advocating and protecting these special places.

Recent legacy business posts

Haight Street Turns On

by Woody LaBounty In 1965, a San Francisco Examiner series of articles…

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