Our friends at the Bernal Heights History project just shared this ridiculously groovy photo of Bernal residents posing for a photo on Cortland Avenue (looking west from Andover) in the early 1970s.
Let’s zoom and enhance to partake of some details:
A few things to notice:
- Today’s Lucky Horseshoe used to be called The Cherokee.
- There was a phone booth at the corner! Perhaps that’s where everyone went to change into superhero costumes?
- Today’s Lama’s Kenpo Karate used to be the Middle East Delicatessen corner store.
- It looks like there was a pharmacy in the location of today’s Discount Club liquor store.
- Judging from the hirsute appearance of the gentlemen, it we can surmise that either a) there were no barbers in San Francisco at the time, or b) business was probably very slow for them. (EDITORIAL NOTE: That was a joke.)
Meanwhile, there’s a fun conversation happening at the Bernal History Project Facebook page as some Bernal old-timers try to identify the people in the photo.
UPDATE, January 26: Bernal alum and black-belt history geek David Gallagher points us toward a terrific, reverse-angle 1951 shot of the Arrow Pharmacy that occupied 439 Cortland (today’s Discount Club liquors store):
The caption says:
When Arrow Pharmacy on Cortland was sold by owner Michael Anthony Callagy, Jr. in 1996, San Francisco columnist Steve Rubenstein penned “Ode to a Pharmacy’s Passing – For seniors, S.F. druggist’s closing is a bitter pill” in memoriam.