About the Barbary Coast

From upscale restaurants and lush parks to historic buildings and high-rise apartments, the new Barbary Coast has come a long way from its blue-collar, raucous beginnings. Walton Square, once the City’s colorful produce market, is now an art-filled park offering a serene, grassy getaway.

Our North Waterfront district was born out of the dilapidated warehouse area that in the mid-1800s fed, clothed and watered the people of San Francisco. Now the North Waterfront is home to hundreds of diverse businesses, including some of our nation’s media and advertising giants, from national networks to multinational ad agencies.

Much has changed here over the past 150 years. The land we now call Barbary Coast was then a San Francisco Bay coastline. In 1849 when word spread of finding gold, sailing ships by the hundreds came here, dropped anchors, and sank their vessels in the muck. That muck, combined with those wooden ships, became part of the fill soil which would turn into the foundation for The Embarcadero, the Ferry Building, the Piers, retail businesses, offices, condominiums, restaurants, coffee shops and three picturesque parks — all part of our modern-day Barbary Coast. Our blue-collar roots go deep.

And we’re proud of our roots and our future!