How did Tenderloin district get it's name : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

How did the Tenderloin District in San Francisco get it's name? Does it have anything to do with eating beef? In the 49er days?

-- isabel sanders (, June 04, 1999


this question was answered below at:

-- richard (, June 04, 1999.

The Tenderloin District got it's name because the joke was that the police officers' working/patrolling this particular area were now able to afford prime cuts of tenderloin.

-- melanie robinson (, March 09, 2001.

I heard a slighly different version; NY was the first Tendeloin. The Mafia owned beef cattle during the depression and would pay off the police with cuts of meat rather than money which could me traced to stay out of their territory. A young rookie may have been told, 'we don't bother that neighborhood, cause we got the tenderlo

-- Craig Smith (, April 30, 2001.

i have been researching this question for a documentary television program, without a 'definitive' answers, but the "corrupt police who can now afford tenderloin because of the prostitution payoffs" is widely repeated, as is the New York antecedant of that term. In addition, in the 1800's, prostitution was sometimes referred to as the "tender favor," so the name had a double entendre.

-- gary weimberg (, June 28, 2001.

Repeatedly described in most tourist guides as "the worst neighborhood in San Francisco," the Tenderloin thrives despite its bad rap. Sure, there are loads of drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes and mentally unstable street people, but if you can get past that, you'll find it is also one of the city's most exciting and diverse locales.

Getting its funky, florid nickname from the days when policemen were paid more to work its mean streets, thereby affording the cops better cuts of meat, the Tenderloin is moving up these days. A heavy influx of Vietnamese families in the last two decades has been instrumental in achieving -- if not entirely responsible for -- its face-lift. And then there are those incredibly delicious sandwiches you can get at the corner markets.

This area is perhaps the last frontier in SF's ever-expanding gentrification trend, and you can still stumble on unpolished gems in the form of incredible cooking, unpredictable bar scenes, independently owned stores and great live music.

The streets aren't the cleanest, and you will be approached frequently by strangers, so just stay alert and don't let it get to you. You have to hunt a little harder for your treasures in the 'Loin, but in a city increasingly headed toward high-end everything, it's a small price to pay.

-- ( ((, January 26, 2005.

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