Chinatown: Shanghai Low

All the views on this page look north on Grant between Pine/California, showing Shanghai Low restaurant at 532 Grant. In Orson Welles' 1947 classic Lady from Shanghai, Michael O'Hara (Welles) passes Shanghai Low as he flees through Chinatown. has great photos documenting the film's locations. Today (in 2020) Lotus Garden restaurant occupies the Shanghai Low space. Some Shanghai Low ephemera is here.

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Left: the Pacific Novelty 2709 image predates the Shanghai Low marquee and large vertical sign seen in the other cards. The distinctive roof at right is on the building just south of Shanghai Low, as seen clearly in Smith News 4 below. Next: Pacific Novelty 1-138, a clear view of the distinctive Shanghai Low marquee and the large vertical "Chop Suey" sign. Next: Smith News 35 (postmarked 11/08/1950) looks north on Grant from Pine. Right: Piltz 75, taken from further up the block (see Gilboy 23 for a modified version). The decorative lampposts at Grant/Pine still stand, but the lamppost near Shanghai Low in Piltz 75 is gone. The Smith News and Piltz cards show two way traffic on Grant; it later became one way northbound, as seen below.

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Left: Kropp 32, a night view of Dragon parade passing Shanghai Low. Next: Smith News 4. The pagoda-towered buildings on the NW and SW corners of Grant/California are Sing Fat Co. and Sing Chong Co.; the photographer of this card waited for a cable car to pass between them. Next: Clements C4065. Right: Clements C16750. Smith News shows two way traffic on Grant, the later Clements cards show one way northbound. In 2020 the vertical "Lamps of China" sign at Grant/Vinton (not shown in the earlier linen era postcards above) reads "City of Hong Kong" and the Shanghai Low marquee is gone, but the vertical "Chop Suey" sign remains, now reading "Lotus Garden".


Curteich 9A-H241 is a linen-era card advertising Shanghai Low.

Continue north on Grant: see pages Chinatown: Sing Fat Co. and Chinatown: Sing Chong Co. at California, Chinatown: Hang Far Low near Sacramento, Chinatown: Before the Earthquake (2) and Chinatown: Bulletin Board at Clay, Chinatown: Street Scene at Washington, and Chinatown: Stores.

Steve's SF postcard pages: