San Francisco Hotel & Restaurant
Labor History

The purpose of this guide is to give students in a starting point when searching for information on the history of hotels and restaurants in San Francisco.  It also guides students in LBCS 96C for the project involving researching an old San Francisco establishment, historical labor/wokers' rights issues and  historical demographic information for San Francisco.


Union Documents 1903-1913

A binder with copies of 10 historical union documents for the restuarnat and bar industries of San Francisco can be used in the Statler Library.  Students can ask for the binder at the reference desk.  DOcuments include:

  • Cooks' Union Local No. 44 - Cconstitution and By-Laws, 1903
  • Cooks' Union Local No. 44 - Book of Membership and Constitution, 1903
  • Cooks' Union Local No. 44 - Synopsis of Wage Scale and Trade Regulations 1914
  • Cooks' Helpers Union Local No. 110 - Cponstitution and By-Laws 1913
  • Cooks' Helpers Union Local No. 110 -  Wage Scale, 1906
  • Bartenders' International League of America Local No. 41  of San Francisco - Constitution and By-Laws, 1901
  • Waiters' Union Local 30 - Constitution and By-Laws, 1911
  • Waiters' Union Local 30 -  Wage Scales, 1911
  • Waitresses' Union Local 48 - Constitution 1914
  • Waitresses' Union Local 48 - Wage Scale

San Francisco Chronicle Index 1865-1922 (full-text)

Offers  full page and article images with searchable full text back to the  first issue in 1865. The collection includes digital reproductions providing  access to every page from every available issue.  



Historic SF Hotels and Restaurants still operating today

Fior d'Italia Tadich Grill
Tommy's Joynt Old Clam House
John's Grill The Old Ship Saloon
Sam's Grill Alfred's Steak House
Cliff House St. Francis Soda Fountain
The Saloon Sabella & La Torre
Palace Hotel Far East Cafe
Mark Hopkins Hotel St. Francis Hotel
Fairmont Hotel Hotel Utah
Castignola's 7 Mile House
Sam Wo Restaurant (temporarily closed)
Schroeder's Cafe
Beach Chalet                                                Hang Ah Tea room                       
Spenger's Fish Grotto Duarte's Tavern         

Searching Library Catalogs

When searching library catalogs such as CCSF's CityCat or the SFPL Catalog by subject, use the following search terms:

  • Restaurants -- California -- San Francisco -- History
  • Hotels -- California -- San Francisco -- History
  • Hotels -- California -- San Francisco

You may also conduct a SUBJECT search using the NAME of a particular hotel or restaurant.


Books on Old San Franscisco Restaurants & Hotels

Books on SF Hospitality History  & Labor

Other Libraries & Resource Centers

Articles & Pamphlets on Historical Labor Issues in Hospitality

Korshak, Stuart R. "A Labor--Management Partnership: San Francisco's Hotels and the Employees' Union Try a New Approach." Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly Apr. 2000: 14. Academic OneFile. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

Cobble, Dorothy Sue. “Organizing the Postindustrial Work Force: Lessons from the History of Waitress Unionism“ Industrial and Labor Relations Review 44.3 (April 1991): 419-36. [Statler reserve].

Cobble, Dorothy Sue. "Dishing it out! Waitresses and the making of their unions in San Francisco, 1900-1941." In Working People of California. Ed. Daniel Cornford. Berkeley: University of California Press,  1995. Web. <>.

Hsia, Lisa L. Eating the Exotic: The Growing Acceptability of Chinese cuisine in San Francisco, 1848-1915, 2003. Web.

Page, Thomas Walker. "The San Francisco Labor Movement in 1901." Political Science Quarterly 17.4 (Dec. 1902): 664-688. Print. [Statler Reserve].

Spence,Mary Lee. "They Also Serve Who Wait." The Western Historical Quarterly. 14.1 (Jan. 1983): 4-28. Print.  [Statler Reserve].

Web Sites

Demographics/Statistics (historical and current)

SF Geneology - Population
Population numbers and ethnic breakdown from 1794-

Historical Census Browser - University of Virginia Library 1790-1960 data: University of Virginia Library Geostat Data--search by County Level Data to view San Francisco statistics (entire city only).

Bay Area Census
San Francisco City and County Census information 1860-2010

San Francsico Statistics
Provides data for entire city, data fro specific areas within the city and historical data

American FactFinder
Find popular facts (population, income, etc.) and frequently requested data about communities.  Search by state, county, city, town, or zip code.  Great for SF neighborhood searches.