Ristorante Fior d’Italia, “The Flower of Italy” was opened on May 1st, 1886.
San Francisco’s Barbary Coast was then a rough and tumble neighborhood in a wild, and badly period in the city’s history. Miners, gamblers, and sailors of all description cluttered the saloons and taverns. It was the jumping off point to the Sierra’s rich gold fields.
Angelo Del Monte immigrated to America to make his fortune in the California Gold Rush. Unsuccessful, he moved to San Francisco and saw huge opportunity serving food to the city’s fortune hunters. To this turbulent, lusty town came another young Italian immigrant, Armido “Papa” Marianetti, who in 1890 joined the business. Together they developed Fior d’Italia into one of the leading Italian restaurants in its day.
The Fior has now operated out of North Beach in six different locations and, after the 1906 earthquake, a tent. In 2012 it was purchased by its fourth owners in 133 years, long-time executive chef Gianni Audieri and his wife Trudy. Gianni was born and raised in Milan, and has worked in restaurants all over the world. He joined the Fior in 1982 and has been cooking his traditional Northern Italian cuisine to rave reviews ever since.
Original Site – 432 Broadway 1886-1893
Angelo Del Monte opened Fior d’Italia in 1886 to feed the gold miners and fortune hunters roaming the Barbary Coast.
The restaurant was a hit with the locals and became a favorite of the patrons who frequented the bordello upstairs. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1893.
492 Broadway 1893-1906
After the fire, the Fior d’Italia moved up the street to 492 Broadway. By 1903 Armido Marianetti had become a full partner with Del Monte.
The restaurant had grown into an elegant
establishment, attracting society, diplomats and artists. This building was demolished in the Great Fire and Earthquake of 1906.
Within a week after the 1906 Earthquake the Fior quickly erected a tent with a wooden façade feeding the populace with great kettles of soup while the City rebuilt.
New 492 Broadway 1907-1930
The Fior was rebuilt at 492 Broadway adding a second building next door in 1909. This exquisite property featured an upstairs dining room with remarkable stained-glass windows, gilded crown moldings and murals painted on the ceiling. The building still exists today and the same oval-shaped windows can be seen at the corner of Kearny and Broadway
504 Broadway 1930-1954
In 1930 Fior abruptly moved to a location across Kearny to 504 Broadwayafter a landlord dispute. Overnight they moved food, liquor, iceboxes, tables and chairs.
By three A.M. they had finished and served lunch at 11 A.M.
601 Union Street 1954-2005
In the Fifties Broadway began to change and it was no longer a good fit for the restaurant. The Fior moved into the heart of North Beach across from Washington Square at Union and Stockton streets where they stayed for over 50 years. In 2005, after a busy Valentine’s night, a fire broke out in the basement causing the Fior to make its last move to the San Remo Hotel.
2237 Mason Street
Today the Fior d’Italia serves its Northern Italian Cuisine on the ground floor of the historic San Remo Hotel.. This was the first hotel built after the 1906 Earthquake by A.P. Giannini, the founder of Bank of America.
Want to know the full history? Get the “The Fabulous Fior – Over 100 Years in an Italian Kitchen”