Do You Remember The Stores In This Vintage “Cortland Avenue Shopping Guide?”


Miss Vicky from the Bernal History Project found this vintage Cortland Avenue Shopping Guide, and she needs some help to interpret it:

We found this Cortland shopping guide in the SFPL archives. Do you remember any of these stores? Can you help us figure out the year on this list?

I noticed Toni’s Trade Winds, and Vicky calls out the Hav-A-Lik ice cream and candy shop. Based on the style and the presence of Toni’s, I guessed the guide is from the early 1980s. Notice also the “83” at the bottom right of the illustration, which may (or may not) support my theory.

If you recall any of these businesses, and/or can help date the directory, please do chime in.


25 thoughts on “Do You Remember The Stores In This Vintage “Cortland Avenue Shopping Guide?”

  1. The pharmacy was around when I moved to Bernal in ’91. The pharmacists were so cool – I was sad when they shut down. I still kinda miss them.

  2. I had the unique experience of dining at Toni’s Tradewinds when we first moved to the ‘hood in 1987. Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime. Arrow Pharmacy was there, the Noe-Bernal Glass place is now the bookstore, Duval’s has become the Stray Bar, Jake’s Barbershop was still functioning, and several others named here were in business, but a lot of these places were defunct by that date.

    • Follow-up: I see Toni’s Trade Winds has a post all to itself back in the early days of Bernalwood–I put up my experience at Toni’s there.

  3. I recall many of the shops…..I have been here since 1976….not as long as some people, but long enough.

  4. I remember many of those from living on Cortland 1980-84 (and on Andover until 1989, when I moved to north side of the hill), but I’m not sure what info you’re looking for. You have addresses.

  5. It’s not earlier than the end of 78 as that is when the law firm of Kurtz, McCaffrey and Waller (not listed) sold their practice to the listed Bernal Heights Law Collective (Billy Corman, Rich Ingram and someone else).

  6. cool stuff! and if 1983 is vintage, then i qualify as antique! maybe someone on Etsy can upcycle me and make a buck!

  7. I’m going to make the obligatory comment bemoaning the loss of these kinds of businesses when a neighborhood is moving up the upscale ladder: locksmith, pharmacy, awning maker, sporting goods, appliance service, glass cutting, etc. Apparently what wealth needs is not basic services but expensive foodstuffs. There. My job is done.

    • What about nail salon, nail salon, nail salon , nail salon, liquor store, liquor store, liquor store and add to the mix a handfull of run down crappy looking corner stores !

      • 2 of the 3 nail salons seem busy most of the time. The other one seems to be the peak overload facility and related to another of them. Apparently I only notice one of the many liquor stores tho; unless you’re counting the run-down corner stores as liquor stores.

        Many of the stores The Old One laments losing may not be simply because of changes to the neighborhood but changes in the way businesses work. You no longer need a storefront to run an appliance repair business or glass cutter (or even a locksmith), you can do it out of a van and go to your customers. Big brand pharmacies (Walgreens, etc) killed off all the smaller pharmacies, many of whom were affiliated with Rexall which wend under in the late 70s (due to competition from the corporate chain pharmacies).

        My point is that we didn’t lose those stores because the neighborhood went upscale. It’s just that the ways of doing business changed.

    • Nice cranking!
      Let’s see:
      locksmith: yeah, it wouldn’t be bad to have one in the neighborhood
      pharmacy: larger trend — do you want a Rite Aid or Walgreens on Cortland?
      awning maker: is that essential to a neighborhood? (Noted to be still here)
      sporting goods: larger trend — do you want SportsAuthority nearby?
      appliance service: I think there’s a larger trend here, I’m just not familiar with it.
      glass cutting: hm. What essential character of a neighborhood requires nearby glass cutting?

      etc. : et cetera! This has me thinking about an entirely different hypothesis — in the last 30 years, many small businesses that would be perfect for a small, urban neighborhood have been run out of business by larger versions of the same business and/or eCommerce replacements of same. I would cordially put that hypothesis up next to the one that an increase in wealth has chased away these businesses. I’d point to the fact that you list a pharmacy and a sporting goods store as evidence, when clearly consolidation in the retail of those industries is the larger trend.

      • bldxyz, nicely argued. I suspect the true forces behind demographic shifting are far more complex than can be addressed in this comment section. Still, when I have a choice, I’m a supporter of small neighborhood businesses.

    • I don’t necessarily understand why a neighborhood’s “upscaling” (I put that in quotations b/c I am squarely middle class) would cause these types of stores to close. While I appreciate the few (and they are few) restaurants on Cortland, I always bemoan the lack of anything else. A pharmacy would be brilliant. I’m shocked that such a business can’t make a go in the current hood. I love the bike shop, but how that can survive and not something more practical is confounding.

  8. I remember SF Pets and Aquatics very well. It was crammed with fish tanks and pet care products. I shopped there when I first lived in Bernal in the late 70s. When my family moved back in 1997 the shop front was still there but was closed permanently. Donna Hayes

    Sent from my iPhone

  9. What was Yesee gift and novelty like? and Its Magic both gift stores that were in the Heartfelt location. I only knew a chinese restaurant and a hot dog stand and of course the barber shop were there before. At the turn of the century it was a dry goods store 😀

  10. If you notice, none of the phone numbers start with letters such as Juniper 7070, Enterprise 6060, etc. So I think it would have been printed in the early 1960’s when they started with all numbers????

  11. If you check on google maps (north side of Cortland) you can see that little has changed on the facade.

  12. I’m pretty sure the Acupuncturist on Cortland was Efrem Korngold, now in Noe Valley, doing business as Chinese Medicine Works.

  13. Deli Pub is still in business, with almost the same hours. I figured that place has been around a while, given the age and size of some the plants in there. I am surprised that they’re one of only a few places still in business from this list.

  14. I used to get my haircut at Jakes, that was in the early 90’s though and I’m sure he was there way before then.

  15. I remember the rastas you to seal CD’s at the Toca place, Somoans used to have an ice cream store on Folsom and Courtland, whats most amazing is the BLack womans saloon on court land still there, BLack people still there, I thought they would have been long gone, a new nice people white liberal store instead

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