Trocadero, San Francisco

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Building in 1936

In San Francisco, California, at the turn of the 20th century, the Trocadero was a lively roadhouse, offering gambling at roulette tables and dancing, as well as the best trout pond in California. It was opened in 1892, in a wooden building that had been brought around the Horn and was by reputation the first house built in San Francisco west of Twin Peaks, on the "rancho" of the Greene family. The first seeds of Australian eucalyptus had been sown here, about 1871. Appropriately, it was at the Trocadero that Abe Ruef was found hiding, after his indictment in the notorious municipal graft trials of 1907.[1][2] In the 1930s, Bernard Maybeck recast the Trocadero Inn into a children's playground and renamed it the Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove.

The stylish connotations of the name "Trocadero" derive from the Battle of Trocadero in southern Spain, a citadel held by liberal Spanish forces that was taken by the French troops sent by Charles X, in 1823. The battle was commemorated in the Place du Trocadéro, Paris, and the monumental glamor of the Parisian site has given rise to a variety of locales bearing its name.

In London, the Trocadero Restaurant of J. Lyons and Co. opened in 1896 in Shaftesbury Avenue, near the theatres of the West End. It offered a magnificent Opera Baroque style, and the various trocaderos of the English-speaking world have derived their names from this original, the epitome of grand Edwardian catering.

Consequently, Trocadero is the name of several restaurants and clubs throughout the world: see Trocadero (disambiguation).

In San Francisco, "Trocadero" continued to have a connotation of stylish nighttime fun. In its heyday, the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Trocadero Transfer was regarded as the best hard-core—and largely gaydisco on the West Coast. It was among the half-dozen musical style-setters in the country.


  1. ^ "Trocadero". San Francisco Chronicle. SF Genealogy. July 15, 1940. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  2. ^ ""From a Cow Pasture to Cantatas": The Romantic Story of San Frnacisco's Sigmund Stern Grove". News Bulletin. San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. July 1953. Retrieved 2013-02-26.

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