Green Apple, Joe’s Ice Cream, Boudin Bakery & Hamburger Haven named legacy businesses by City

More businesses in the Richmond were named to the Legacy Business Registry in 2016-2017: (clockwise L to R) Boudin Bakery, Green Apple, Hamburger Haven & Joe’s Ice Cream

In 2015, the Board of Supervisors created the San Francisco Legacy Business Registry. The registry is open to San Francisco businesses that are 30 years or older, have been nominated by a member of the Board of Supervisors or Mayor, and in a hearing before the Small Business Commission, prove that they have made a significant impact on the history or culture of their neighborhood.

The program, designed to protect small, legacy businesses in the city, provides grant funds to any business on the registry, as well as to property owners who extend long-term leases to legacy businesses.

Only 300 business can be nominated annually and all applicants must agree to maintain the historical name and essential business operations, physical features, craft and traditions of their businesses.

Two Richmond District businesses were among the first to be named to the registry – Toy Boat Dessert Cafe and Pacific Cafe – in August 2016. According to the program’s annual report that was published last month, Toy Boat received a $2,000 business assistance grant for tenant and facade improvements, and Pacific Cafe received $4,500 for rent assistance.

Four more Richmond District businesses were also accepted into the program during 2016 – 2017. In October, Green Apple Books (both the 560 Clement and Sunset locations) received legacy status and a $16,000 grant, $13k of which went towards tenant improvements.

In December, Hamburger Haven (800 Clement) received legacy status, as well as a $2,500 grant for rent. Joe’s Ice Cream (5420 Geary) joined the program in January 2017, followed by Boudin Bakery (399 10th Ave) in March. Fun fact: Boudin hosts the attraction “The Bakery Tour” at Disney California Adventure, where tourists are given a tour about how sourdough bread is produced.

Businesses must be nominated by a Supervisor and then apply for acceptance into the program. Since its inception, the Legacy Business Program has received 154 nominations, 103 applications, and has listed 76 businesses in total on the registry.

As of March 31, 2017, the Richmond District has 5 businesses on the registry (the Boudin location that applied was their company HQ in Fisherman’s Wharf). Districts 3 (North Beach, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Polk Gulch, Union Square/Financial District and Russian, Nob and Telegraph Hills) and 9 (Bernal Heights, the Mission, and the Portola) have the most, with 15 and 14 respectively.

Congratulations to the businesses that were named to the registry. Let’s hope we have them around for many more decades!

Sarah B.


  1. The idea that Hamburger Haven, of all places, has “made a significant impact on the history or culture of their neighborhood” is laughable in the extreme. It’s a greasy spoon diner and one that is not remarkable in any way.

    It is truly remarkable to see the supposedly most “liberal” city in America embrace cash subsidy of a class of preferred business owners. Wealth transfer from the non-customer general public to incumbent businesses owners not only subsidizes private business with public money, but is by its very nature ideologically conservative.

    When did San Francisco become such a conservative (reactionary?) place, terrified of change to the status quo?

  2. Anonymous Coward, I’ve heard pancakes cure grumpiness, give them a try!

  3. AC – In the past decades we’ve lost Mz Brown’s, Zim’s, Sugar Plum, The Courtyard and now Clement Street Bar & Grill, all replaced with over spiced over priced Yuppie and Asian places. Have pity on those of us who just want a good old fashoned cheeseburger.

  4. Time to nominate Bill’s Place, home of the Herb Caen burger and the Al “Jazzbeaux” Collins burger. SF Heroes!

  5. How is Schuberts Bakery not on the list? It is actually a local business that has customers from the entire Bay Area.

  6. Anonymous Coward:

    “The idea that Hamburger Haven, of all places, has ‘made a significant impact on the history or culture of their neighborhood’ is laughable in the extreme.”

    One man’s significant impact is another’s laughable thought. Character comes from a variety of places…. Personally I feel like Boudin is kind of a touristy thing. But it takes all kinds.

    “When did San Francisco become such a conservative (reactionary?) place, terrified of change to the status quo?”

    Since quite a long time, I think. For some people regarding some topics (culture, lifestyle, gentrification, etc.)

  7. I love Green Apple Books, but I love libraries more. Why are my tax dollars being used to support a private book store instead of, say, fund our libraries? This policy is a joke. It is conservative, wasteful, and NOT progressive.

    Boudin is quite a large private corporation. I’m pretty sure they can find a way to pay rent.

  8. So now we have state sponsored hamburger joints? The time will come when San Francisco will feel embarrassed for so blatantly supporting carnist businesses that rely on factory farming and animal cruelty to survive. It’s bad enough that my federal tax dollars are being used to prop up such businesses.

    GREG SMITH: “all replaced with over spiced over priced Yuppie and Asian places”
    This is so racist. Combined with “San Francisco Native’s” name and comment below you two might as well be chanting “build the wall”

  9. Ha Anonymoose, there’s nothing racist at all in Greg’s comments, you’re being pretty ridiculous & petty.

  10. Over the years coming to visit 11th Ave. I would go to Hamburger Haven to have meals. Help was friendly, food was American and not cut throat on Price. It was always busy, so I think it’s a big plus to the neighborhood. Think they deserved the recognition for staying.

  11. Keith, are you kidding me? Look at this other comment from Mardie: food was “American” and they deserve “recognition for staying.”? It’s not petty to call out racism no matter how subtle.

  12. They’re talking about different styles of cuisines in an article about restaurants, not even close to resembling racism, you’re wacky.

  13. Keith, I suppose you are correct. It’s not racist per se, but it is definitely nativist. Do you think it is a coincidence that all four of these businesses are culturally white? I don’t.

    This article is not about cuisine either, it’s about handouts to entrenched businesses. I’m sure the CEO of Boudin earns enough through her business that she could put the same amount of money back into Boudin as the city of SF is now obligated to do.

    This policy is insane.

  14. Hamburger Haven is entirely overpriced (see also: Yelp). On the other hand, I don’t mind paying more for spruced up and innovative cooking like the vegan place on 6th Avenue.

    But I am still torn up about the Chinese BBQ place burning, speaking of cultural icons.

  15. happy about every biz, except the haven
    when it started out, it was the best…then they got complacent and expensive

  16. I ate at Hamburger Haven the week it opened in 1966 or whatever…never been back…walk by all the time but never been back

  17. When Hamburger Haven or Green Apple gets millions of dollars in tax breaks then hides hundreds of millions in offshore accounts, maybe then I’ll be upset with the city over this. Luckily San Francisco hasn’t done anything quite that stupid yet.

  18. “Why are my tax dollars being used to support a private book store instead of, say, fund our libraries? This policy is a joke. It is conservative, wasteful, and NOT progressive.”

    XD conservative. Someone actually said that.

    So many people here talking about how this is a conservative thing to do and don’t know how ridiculous that sounds. Conservatives don’t support taking public tax funds (which is how I assume we’re funding these “grants.” It’s certainly not coming out of the supervisors’ pockets) and giving them out to private businesses. Conservatives already think the government overspends and overreaches and overtaxes. Besides, it’s anti-free market to subsidize failing businesses.

    Guys, please learn what conservatives believe before throwing that word around. You sound like children who got ahold of an SAT word and are using it every chance you get without knowing what it means.

  19. @Matt re: Libraries vs. Green Apple – false dichotomy, bro, why not both? The problem is that we’ve been convinced that all these relatively inexpensive things are competing priorities when appropriate tax policies or reduction in boondoggle spending programs (like Defense Dept. level nonsense) would make it easy to pay for all the libraries and bookstores we want.

  20. @anonymoose: My interpretation of that comment is not racist, not nativist, but Generationist! Someone who prefers their Clement Street old school, and is not in favor of change. But the younger generation moving into the area clearly likes their “over-spiced, over-priced Yuppie and Asian places”, or why else would they all be taking the places of older school business that no longer appeal to the community.

    For the record I’m not in favor of a policy that gives taxpayer funded handouts to food/retail in general. Its possible you could convince me otherwise for certain very special types of establishments that add something to the overall character and health of our commercial streets. I love Green Apple, thinks its very unique and important to the area….but still not quite sure even that should get a hand out.

Comments are closed.