The Tenderloin : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

How did the Tenderloin get it's name?

-- Jack Frengs (, March 05, 1998


I found this on a travel web site. Here it is in its entirety:

"As for me, my favorite San Francisco attraction is the Tenderloin District, a decaying, somewhat decrepit area that features the city's best taverns,like the ramshackle yet cozy Club Charleston.The Tenderloin's name supposedly derives from the long-ago days when cops patrolling the rough-and-tumble nabe received premium pay for their efforts, and were thus able to afford prime cuts of meat.

"The Tenderloin, of course, won't show up in most Bay Area guidebooks (not as an attraction, anyway  maybe as a place to avoid). But that's the whole point: Sometimes you've got to dig a little deeper if you want to turn your passive tourist experience into an active one."

Paul Lukas, February 27, 1997

However, I think there are other versions of the origin of Tenderloin. I'll keep looking.

-- anon (, March 07, 1998.

An article in the S.F. Examiner, 21 Sep 1977, page 9 states that the Tenderloin was originally a theater district. The origin of the name is as follows: "The name was transplanted from New York City where Police Captain Charles Becker reputedly said, "Now I'll eat tenderloin." when he was assigned to preside over New York's glittery precinct west of Broadway, the theater district."

-- Ron Filion (, April 21, 1998.

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