Commercial Street

Street in North Beach & Chinatown

Back when the red lights of Commercial St could be seen from the waterfront, this strip provided many provocative answers to the age-old question: what do you do with a drunken sailor? Conveniently located across Portsmouth Sq from San Francisco’s City Hall, this hot spot caught fire in 1906. The city banned its 25¢ Chinese brothels in favor of white-run ‘parlor houses,’ where the cost of basic serv­ices was raised to $3 – and watching cost $10 at the faux-French Parisian Mansion.

Today on Commercial St, 10 bucks gets you a couple of hot dishes of dumplings at City View.