Divisadero Street, a Microhood in Transition
For many years Divisadero Street was known as a gritty stretch of seedy liquor stores, dive bars, low-income housing and shuttered businesses. Fast-forward to 2016 and the Divisadero corridor is one of San Francisco’s liveliest streets. Divisadero Street continues to rapidly transform as new restaurants, bars, coffeeshops and boutiques crop up left and right.
The Divisadero Corridor is sort of a no man’s land. The street, which geographically divides San Francisco, also divides the neighborhoods of the City’s Central North District. (Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief Divisadero does not stem from “division,” but from the Spanish verb divisar, meaning “to see from the distance.” El Divisadero was the Spanish name originally given to what we now know as Lone Mountain, home to University of San Francisco. More on that here.)
Situated at the crossroads of Alamo Square, North Panhandle (NoPa), Lower Haight, Anza Vista and the Western Addition, it’s difficult to determine what neighborhood this bustling street actually belongs to. Whatever neighborhood it does belong to may not matter, though. The Divisadero Corridor stands on its own with a unique, bohemian identity — not quite Alamo Square, yet not quite NoPa.
Divisadero’s transformation really began in 2006 with the arrival of Nopa. The California-style restaurant remains one of the most talked about and difficult-to-get-into in the city. (And in case you’re wondering: yes, it is named after the neighborhood it borders.)
Not long after the opening of Nopa did the Divisadero Parklet arrive on the scene, one of the first in the city. With the microhood’s stage set, hipster coffeeshops (Mojo Bicycle Café and The Mill), trendy boutiques (Rare Device, San Franpsycho, Perish Trust, Tanner Goods, and Topo Designs), upscale grocers (Bi-Rite), and buzzing restaurants and bars (Little Star Pizza, Fly Bar, Bar Crudo, Ragazza, La Urbana, and 4505 Burgers & BBQ) began to move in. (Shout out to Bean Bag Café, Divisadero’s O.G. coffeeshop and diner which has been serving the neighborhood since 1992!)
With major plans to revitalize the Harding Theater as an arcade bar called Emporium (think Brewcade) and multiple condo developments in the works for the Oak and Grove Street corners, Divisadero is set to be San Francisco’s next destination neighborhood for living, dining, shopping and entertainment.
I used to live in Alamo Square and absolutely LOVED Nopa. I moved out of the Bay Area for work, and really miss my cute, old apartment near the park. Especially now that Bi-Rite has moved in. I can’t wait to come back for a visit. It looks like there are so many other cute places in the neighborhood now! Thanks for sharing. 🙂