Beginning in the 1930s, artists, musicians and poets found a home at the San Remo, some paying their room tab with a painting or two, most moving on when they could find a larger place more suitable for use as a studio. The easygoing environment at the hotel, a perfect fit for the bohemian North Beach lifestyle, attracted creative talent for several decades.
Local San Remo Hotel artists like Julius Hatofsky and Ernie Biggs were San Remo guests in the 50s. Hatofsky became an emeritus instructor at the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute after a long career as an artist, and Biggs gained a reputation in New York.
Sometimes the less glamorous tenants needed a little looking after. Proprietor Nello Ragghianti, who operated the hotel from 1945 to 1972, would bank their monthly Social Security checks and dole out funds as needed so they weren’t squandered.