South San Francisco, Ca September 9, 2022
Every region, and every City, has certain things that make it unique from every other place in the world.
And South City has many of them as noted by the responses to our FB question.
From Little Lucca’s to Dairy Bell, to the Fog, and sliding down the letters on Sign Hill, fishing out at Oyster Point – so many memories that make this place home.
Share your thoughts – what is it that makes YOU know you’re from South City?
The Italian chin-thrust hello.
South City Car Wash.
Brentwood Lodge, now Fort McKinley
The aroma of bread baking at OroWheat whilst standing in line at the Unemployment Office
You nailed it, Rachel! And then you can no longer see that hillside thru the fog! But it was great anyway!
Because as kids we would hike up to the “Industrial City” letters on the hill and slide down them, the Colonial Bakery truck, All Souls School, Series Market, the public library off of Grand Avenue Orange Park, and Fregosi’s Market.
You know you’re from So City when you no longer can afford to live in So City.
Renee Castro Moore
WHISTLING GHOST TOWER? We would go have picnics when the wind was high the tower would whistle ANYONE ELSE WENT THERE AS A KID 🧒
Renee Castro Moore where is this ghost tower? Some nights I hear howling coming from Sign Hill
Off of Grandview Dr. & east grand.
Renee Castro Moore use to park right next to it and party there at night, when you could drive all the way up to it .
QFI, Capri Italian restaurant, John and Kathy’s restaurant, Grand Auto, Drug King, White Front, Mazda dealership (when they had the rotary engines), Mater Dolorosa festivals, etc.
Bronstein’s music on Grand Ave. My parents rented all of my instruments there
I have a great view from my living room window of the mountain that says South San Francisco The Industrial City.
Peri Lyn Morini Moore
Orange Park, Sanitary Bakery,State Theater, White Front , Spruce Drive In, Buri Buri Delicatessen, Both sets of Grand parents lived there, My Oma & All of her Sisters, Cousins, Aunts/Uncles, The Alleys, Grand Avenue. My Dad was Born in 1936 at the Hospital on Grand Avenue!! Great City growing up!! My Great Grandfather Robert Rugge built the house at 721 Baden Ave. & it is still standing, along with the mini rose bush that still gives roses!!!
Roy’s deli..if you remember you know. I feel sorry for people who never got a chance to try it
George Vlahakos the best!!
George Vlahakos YES! Roy’s! And the farmers market.
George Vlahakos aww my sister worked there long time ago!
It’s “South City” not “South San Francisco”. It’s also still referred to as “Brentwood bowl”
Sarah Andrakin they change the name?
Dan Manchester it is now Hometown bowl
Sarah Andrakin, I always call it: South City!
Magnolia Elementary, Grand Avenue, Orange Park, Spruce School, All Souls Church, Parkway Junior High, Sunshine Gardens, Santo Cristo Hall, SSF High School, El Camino High School, Ed’s Diner, D & M Liquor, and so much more . . .
Linda Hunter D&M liquor at chestnut and. The chestnut Safeway crew…. You know you’re from south city when either you or your friends worked there lol
Tua C Fuimaono
Orange Park, all the stores on Grand Ave, All Souls, So. City High, Baden, See’s Candy, Martin elementary, family & friends.
Tua C Fuimaono We once attended Roger Williams School on Grand- not sure if it’s still there today-
Dean Coombs school closed over 30 years ago, but building still there as a church
Sarah Roberts I remember Pastor Larson and a couple of my teachers- Mrs Earhart was one of them- I went there through 3rd grade, then we moved to the South Bay-
Eileen Compagno Sosaia
Brentwood!!!!SANITARY BAKERY,jumping bean,whitefront,drive thru deli,el charro,Criders mkt,State theater,foxskyli e theater,chicken delight,hoffbrau,halls ice cream ben Franklin’s on grand,Baden!!!!!!
We refer to our hometown as South City, not San Francisco.
“Big Bite” , “Alfredos Market “ Colombus” all On Linden
I’m not from South City. I’m a native San Franciscan. But I spent so much time here growing up. And, now I live here. Love it!
Sunshine, South City, Orange Park, Sign Hill, Sliding towards Hillside on Cardboard. Walking to School Uphill and going back home Uphill. I got plenty more… Garden Club… The Mag…. Parkway… Lots of Dead Neighbors on one side and actively moving ones on the other. FOG
Tim Dinsmore I so remember the cardboard on the hill lol love you
Tim Dinsmore my grandparents Mike and Alicia owned the garden club
Tim Dinsmore I also remember the year it snowed on a Sunday and we sat on boxes and slid down San Bruno Mountain. Couldn’t do it for long because we had to go to church.
Marisa Tamburini Meier
If you are going anywhere south of South city, you say “I’m going down to” …
Lupe Ibarra Hernandez
Spruce Drive In
Lupe Ibarra Hernandez
Alice Ann Arce
I walked back and forth almost daily. Met my husband at Magnolia Teen Center. He went to So City High where I met my best friend. I went to El Camino High so we had it covered. The hills to get to Parkway Jr High. And home. Spent a lot of time playing at the school around the corner Sunshine Gardens. Libraries I loved. Probably couldn’t find my way around any more. Changed so much but sign hill is famous and we all had our stories about sliding down on cardboard trying not to fly off on Hillside. Good times
you know when you used to… rent movies at Costa’s Video grand, rent instrument at Bronsteins, burritos at La Tapatia ,frog catching off So Airport n Armour, Martin Meteors!
Christina Barnett Haas
Rich Barajas omg catching frogs! I totally loved doing that! Also daring each other to go into the long gone tunnel at the end of Armour & Airport. Always used to say a big wave of water would sweep us away and we’d get to meet the Teenage mutant Ninja turtles good times!
Rich Barajas My brothers and I used to catch polliwogs and frogs in the canal at Orange Park before they put in the cement, then sell the frogs to neighbors that had beautiful yards. Great memories!
Rich Barajas and stuff the pool table with newspaper at Bravos Pizza so we can play for free.
If someone calls it San Francisco and you get upset and say
“This is SOUTH City! ”
Wendy Sinclair-Smith WE HAVE OUR OWN POLICE DEPARTMENT
Wendy Sinclair-Smith not to mention there istwo towns between Sf and us. We have our own zip code and school district.
The old Italians playing Boche ball behind city hall. We would watch them argue in Italian (with lots of screaming and hand motions)
Also, I would never dream of using an umbrella when it rains because it is usually way too windy when it rains.
Laurie Jay Paradee
Patricia Baker Yep
Watching the orchards burn next to Alta Loma every year.
Angelina Robinson yes. With the dirt bike ramps in the middle
George Vlahakos yes! I rode those!
Saying the name South city￼
Has changed so much last 35 years!! But it is a beautiful city.
Sliding down the letters
Mclellan’s Acres of Orchids, All Souls, St. Veronica, & Mater Dolorosa
Alice Ann Arce
Jeanett Serrano I was married at All Souls
My step dad owned a gas station that used to be on the corner of hillside and linden.
I remember that
Khristin Chris Emerson Odahlen
Gotelli speed shop
Khristin Chris Emerson Odahlen It is still open but in San Bruno now, by the old Lyon’s rest. off of EC Real.
Dougherty and Dunn sporting goods
Joey Villeggiante Used to get all my football jerseys there
“C Street OG’s”
U remember Cala bell & da car wash on el Camino/chestnut; little lucca’s, garden club, JoAnn’s. Galil’s bakery, Bertolucci, buon gusto. Things have changed & are continually changing though…
Bron’s barber shop.
Crider’s, Drug King/Gails, pet shop in grand Av
Sandy Searson Laubscher
& the wind‼️
Linda Pro don’t forget the fog
Yes!! Strangely it did not bother me as much as that darn wind!
My SSF memory lol
When I go to tapatia for burrito
Julie Janini oh my those are the best ever. That’s our first stop when we go to SF
Julie Janini and warm tortillas
Every summer you start looking for large pieces of cardboard.
Old Gus and his Candy truck in the neighborhood!
Royal Donuts and Sanitary Bakery
Annabel Martin Gonzalez
Way up over the sign hill on Larch Ave thats where i grew up. Sliding down that hill on carboard boxes with my siblings and neighborhood friends
Antonio Alvarez Godinez
Annabel Martin Gonzalez Did that too with Ceja brothers
Antonio Alvarez Godinez
Annabel Martin Gonzalez your neighbors at one time
Patrick J Smith
“SUNSHINE GARDENS ” says it all for ME !!!!
Patrick J Smith Yes Sir
I grew up on Orange Avenue. Sliding down the letters on cardboard was the best! Galli’s made the best EVERYTHING! Mr and Mrs Galli were my next door neighbors.
Ieti Afoa Jr.
Pete Fiso little Lucca?
Ülysses De Guzman
Dennys in Westborough, little Luca, hot and hunky in Brentwood, Al’s liquor on linden, Hillside elementary, Ron Price VW Subara dealership
Safeway at west borough, Arbys at El Camino real, seven eleven in front of south San Francisco high school, chevron gas station next to little luca… orange park, grand avenue where we use to get our Dutch crunch bread , Round table Pizza – my high school
You know what little Lucas is
Buri Buri Park n Rec baseball summer league.
I’m not from South City but lived in the City long enough to know (at least) two things: SF is NEVER called “Frisco” (or SF for that matter – tho’ that’s less of a sin).
And, it’s ALWAYS “South City”. Never South San Francisco (Except on that glorious south facing hill).
Oh, and a lot of folks are peacefully resting in Colma.
Gigi Santinelli Santamaria
Grew up on Baden, Los Cerritos, Parkway, So.City High, Orange Park, Grand Ave (downtown), Big Bite, Leaning Tower Restaurant, States Tavern, Five Brothers, Grand Central, QFI, Capri Italian Restaurant, Sanitary Bakery, etc, etc
The Orange library and amazing outdoor amphitheater they had before they turned it into a crappy parking lot.
By 3 o’clock the fog comes rolling in.
Jennifer Spahn Roach
Sunshine Gardens, QFI, Little Luca, Bertolucci‘s, Garden Club, First Lutheran Church, South City Car Wash, Sanitary Bakery, The smell of bread when you went through a drive through mini market.￼
When So. City used to do the street festival on Grand Ave.
Sunshine Center and Garden Club
Forgot my alma maters, SSG elementary, Parkway, ECHS, Mater Dolorosa, Bronstein’s , too many to list but it was a great place to grow up.
Michelle McFadden Rodriguez
Ben Franklin’s, whole alley streets
You can’t toooo many big buildings and Condos
Estella Maria Tinoco
As Kids …. Ben Franklin was Tops & Anchor Drug …. was were my Friend & Comadre Alicia worked . Also loved the Fountain/Restaurant @ Anchor
When you always claim that there is no other deli better than Little Lucca’s! No matter where you move!! #CStOG
Papa Joe’s and purity market
The State Theater and schoolhouse corner store where we go to by our penny candy￼
The only drive through grocery store! Kids be tired just drive through get your milk and cereal for the morning or one of the kids just come. From the doctors just drive One of the best parts of our town
On a piece of cardboard pepe ? We did that so many times . Going to the big bite , orange park , darby dans right by house , had to jump a fence from cypress and get my favorite sandwich
Called San Bruno mountain but in South City? Grew up in San Bruno close enough 🤣
Doing that head bob as a hello, without speaking a word.
Doctor Jennings on Grand Avenue
When Doctors made home visits!
The Garden Club , Leaning Tower , Little Luca’s, Welte’s , El Faro and The Silver Dollar
You know if you grew up in So City if you slid down those letters and ripped your pants out then had to walk home
Kathy Francis-Anderson slid down the letters with my kids and my grandkids.
Gloria Lagomarsino Really? How fun!
Cynthia Minucciani Traverso
Gloria Lagomarsino we used to get water heater boxes from Mr Burns and drag them up the hill, get three or four kids in it, and roll down not knowing where we would end up. Fond memories.
Cynthia Minucciani Traverso
Kathy Francis-Anderson yep!!!
Cynthia Minucciani Traverso we did that together
Cynthia Minucciani Traverso
The best of times!
Still a great hike…although not as pretty now since the last fire and the parks dept. is clearing some of the trees. Also was a rope swing that my kids and grandkids loved, also gone because of the fire. My dad used to ride his bike down the ridge side. We will still hike the hill.
Jose Luis Lepe
Sliding down the sign hill.
South City High School Warriors
Susie McGeever oh please! It’s El Camino Colts! Haha!!!
Patty Martin where’s the colts in that concrete jungle?
I have a lot of memories from this beautiful city I used to go to buy food at la lonchera right there at orange park
Lived there for 27 years. Right around the corner from Little Lucca’s.
John Fierro lux ave
Derrall Ellison grand Avenue
John Fierro lol
Derrall Ellison for real!
Jim Craig and I would 4 wheel up that hill and drink beer .I lived with him in those days…
From SF but a friend lived there back in high school and he and i would go ride cardboard sheets down the letters of Sign Hill
Los Cerritos Elementary school…
Across from the Boys Club .
I Lived on “A” street
Roderick Lyall I’m his uncle…
Yes, Jimmy Guaraldi, and your parents graduated South City High 1980!!
Grew up in Francisco terrace
I agree Rose, great place to grow up.
Always getting See’s candies during events at work or school.
Jumping Bean, See’s White front
Sheri Milani Chaplin
Carol Raczynski awesome I remember them🤪❤️
Sheri Milani Chaplin
Carol Raczynski I love it!!! I remember that place!!
You know your from South City when you feel the 3pm wind come through
I was born there
Serra Vista Elementary. Winston Manor Market and the drug store next door. El Rancho Drive-In.
Zip code on the bills sent to me are a good indication.
Lori Lancaster Dunbar
Scooting down the “I” on a piece of cardboard. My Aunt Sissy lived at the base of the sign.
jumpin gean breantwood bowl orange park boys club
Day in the park,in orange park….
I always carry a sweater and long pants on a hot summer day.
Sign Hill, Lilac Lane, and South City Car Wash welllll old school South City
Ben Franklin, Anchor Drug, Dairy Bell…
The SSF Boys Club, The Garden Club, and the El Camino Real.
Hey ,how about the
Leaning tower? I Went there with my mother
For dinner. …Anyone remember going there ?
John Durney Yes, And Bertoluchi’s. With the gold velvet wall paper.
Angelo L. Sanchez
Rented videos from Video Plus on El Camino and ate chili dogs from Ben Franks.
Tony’s Hofbrau food was so good
Kathy Mitchell Colombo
Laura Servetti-Lewis loved Tony’s
Cause I can see this writing from my window… lol
The liquor store with the marlins an moose haha
Ant Vas don’t forget about the drive thru liquor store
Spruce elementary, the field trip to the library and La Tapitia to see how tortillas were made..
Peter Wheat bread delivered to our house.
El faro burrito after school on Friday
Susie Way Ice Cream Trucks
The walk up taco bell on El Camino.. the leaning Tower had the best lasagna..
Diana Ross Oyster Point Yacht Club
Thhhhhe best .
Diana Ross I agree , best of times
Bell market and the south city wash on the corners of el Camino and westborough.
Bertolucci’s and Bally’s
Spruce ave lol serramonte even though it’s in Daly city
The Topper! Liberty market! La Morena for the menudo!
That’s a dead giveaway
South city High
Ben Franklins – our friend’s uncle Doug worked at Al’s Liquor
Spruce school kids we all add catechism at All Souls
If your were born in the 70s most likely your principal was Mr. McNutt and kindergarten teacher Ms. Donahue
the “H” in “THE” is the best letter to slide down
Macy’s warehouse – my dad worked there til the day they closed the doors
Is the sign still there?
Charles Crispo-de Sira
St. Veronica Roman Catholic School!
Thank you Lord!
I saw this sign on Easter Sunday. Y’all should watch this movie. Very hilarious.
JCPenny on Grand Ave. Bayview Bank on Grand Ave.
Cashing your paycheck at the bar at Rancho Las Trancas
Lani Len Wai
Drizzle not rain
I was told during WWII they covered up the letters for fear of inciting an areal attack! (not sure if that was true or not)??
Taqueria San Bruno
The Spruce 4 and El Rancho Drive Ins
Value Giant. White Front. Brentwood Market. OFI. Saint veronica fair. My chilhood school ponderous.
Lots of Italians. Lots of fog.
Cutting across the golfcourse,the sound of the jets flying over our house,the fog rolling in over the hill, anybody jump the fence at ssfhs to swim , cruiding el camino real , anybody remember Bandstand in redwoid city
I moved to SSF in 1976. There was a Foster’s Freeze across from South City High School, if I recall correctly?
I am desperately looking for photos of the New Southern Restaurant. It was my most favorite place in the world to eat. My family went there on special occasions only. I still remember every detail of the interior. If only I could find photos of it!
I was born in San Francisco, but raised in South City. I lived there from 1967 to 2013 and moved after my Mother had passed away. I remember how great South City used to be in the 70’s and 80’s when I was growing up. These are the things that I will always remember : Grand Ave, Ed’s Diner, Manor Pizza, Mr. B’s Diner, Weltde’s Bar, Yellow Cab Co. Bertolucci’s Italian Restaurant, Santini’s Hardware store, St. Vincent De Paul’s store, Sanitary Bakery, Ben Franklin’s, La Tapatia, Bronstein’s Music, Grand Ave Library and City Hall, Grand Ave’s Pet shop and market, The Pharmacy and lunch counter, the Christian supply store, Linden’s Ave’s Kathy and John’s Diner, Crocker Bank, Linden Ave Post Office ( My father worked there for 26 years ), The Big Bite, Ruby’s Fashions ( Ruby was a close friend of my Mother and Grandmother for years ), the Leaning Tower restaurant. In Westborough it was the Pak N Save market and Paradise Chinese food, The Hillside Church and School, Winston Manor, Alta Loma Junior High, Orange Ave, The Park, South City High School, Orange Ave Library, Buri Buri, El Camino Real, QFI Market, Zim’s Diner ( later named Gunter’s ),Walgreens, The New Southern Restaurant, ( Broke my heart when I saw my favorite restaurant being torn down in the mid 1990’s ), Buri Buri Post office, South City Car wash, Der Weinershnitzle Hot dogs, Kaiser Hospital, The Bonanza Steak House, Tony’s Hof Brau, Brentwood Bowling Alley, See’s Candy, Brentwood Market, Brentwood Lodge, Sunshine Gardens ( I lived on Heather way from 1971 to 1986 ), Sunshine Gardens Elementary High School, Parkway Junior High, El Camino High School, Sunshine Pharmacy, the deli, Laundromat, Bar, and the Church Madre Delarosa. Phew!! That took some time to remember my childhood. I’m sure there’s more places, but this is what I could remember off the top of my head. A lot of bittersweet memories of South City. My fondest memories will always be going to the wonderful diners that South City had. I haven’t been back to South City since 2013. So I can only imagine the changes that have happened. Oh well. All good things must come to an end. Also, I went to El Camino High School. I dropped out in 1986.
new southern buffet, bowling alley at linden and railroad Papa joes pizza, cars have to be off street at night..(in driveway or garage) Pauls discount on grand ave
Sears catalog store on Grand ave, Jc Penneys on Grand Ave, 2 dime stores (sproutz ritz, and Ben Franklin) jumpin bean
Did anyone mention BERTOLUCCI’S and their absolutely BEAUTIFUL NEON SIGN which USED to be seen off the freeway!!
Walking down Baden Ave to the State Theater. We would stop by Fregosi’s Market and get a free penny candy from Mr. Fregosi if we brought in a flower. At the bottom of Baden, before we went into the 50 cent show in the summer, we would wave to my Dad at Zanetti’s gas station. He was an attendant there. At that time his wage could rent our home on Baden while my Mom stayed home with 5 kids.
You have to say the Sign Hill because no one else has one, it is unique even if we know it as South City and it says South Francisco.
And the fog that starts at 380 and hovers over us here but not San BRuno .
when you know the best burritos are at la tapatia, when your kids grew up and went to the local public schools, when you can say “hi” to everyone while going for a walk in your area, when you know after every two hot/sunny days that the fog will arrive on the 3rd or 4th day, and when you know just about every street in south city.
Sandwiches and donuts at Roy’s deli, when it was near QFI, before the Westborough Blvd extension and hiking the creek that ran between the golf course and the homes on Arroyo, Capay and Escanyo.
Being a food blogger based in south city for 33 years of my life. I grew up In a very different time. I did not attend the same neighborhood schools as the neighborhood kids. I was once in a all male classroom and some were nice but some were just a bunch of bullies and I was very sad, they just Wanted to me to go play and it was hard for me. Here a few great things about south city as a younger self
I was a el camino high school culinary arts with mr. Coddington as the student class of 2007 with a minor of inprov (drama) With Mr. Crockett once a colt always a colt
I am currently working on a memior on my life and culinary journey and did you know at serramonte center my mom and I would head to lunch at Betty boop diner after school or Gunthers near bell Market near chestnut Avenue Betty boop was a 1940s cartoon before the filmstones and the Archie’s
When you remember a city government composed of longtime “Old South City” residents who were more invested in the soul and history of our city rather than it’s value per square foot.
The past 10 years have been a shit show with outside groups using their money and influence to promote those who push their mission in the state, like Mullin Jr who did nothing for South City on council or when on state assembly, but wants to go higher.
He only used our city as a stepping stone, just like Nagales, Coleman and Flores intend to do. Addiego is too old and has his kingdom to hover over gleefully rubbing his grubby monied hands together. (Anyone take a look at the measures these clowns are endorsing? Be like Nancy and just say NO)
These guys are playing to a different audience ,the pharma companies bringing in tons of money making them feel important while feathering their future pockets.
Its a big club and you aren’t part of it.
Politics has always been dirty but these guys have taken it to a new level, they don’t even try to hide it.
Michelle Watson, resident since 1982 but moving soon.
Sorry to hear you are moving as you have successfully read my mind in detail. My family and I have been here longer than I like to disclose but this city and I had benefit of competent governance so many decades ago. I’ll revisit my favorite quote from my childhood friend who acted responsibly as an elected representative for his community, “If you buy the city council lunch, they’ll let you bulldoze San Bruno Mountain.” We’ve seen what that lunch bought them, hope they at least got dessert.
More troubling news for thought. This city historically seldom sold city owned property, instead opting for long term leases. Why? Because you can only sell that property once. As our city officials purge all the properties from our inventory while taking on historic debt, you know who they will turn to when the creditors come to collect their debt. Bankrupt governance can only lead to a bankrupt city.