Historic Neighborhood Market

737 2nd Avenue Neighborhood Market. This market is located on the original subdivision of James D Byrnes’ property on the corner of 2nd Avenue and S. Fremont Avenue. Byrnes was an immigrant from Tipperary Ireland, and was known as “the father of San Mateo” in the late 1800s for his successful businesses and public service, as a county supervisor and California Senator of the 29th District.

Gaetano Aloise, his wife, Mary, and oldest son, Frank Jr. immigrated from Italy around 1900. They settled in San Mateo where they had six other children. The Aloise & Sons Market first appears in the San Mateo City Directories in 1918, and it shared a lot with the family house. Aloise’s daughter, Vera Aloise Brown, and her husband ran the market for several decades, and Vera’s sandwiches were called by many “the best” in San Mateo.

A proposal for redevelopment of the lot that considered leveling the market spurred the neighborhood into action. In 2015, the historical evaluation of the market recognized its architectural significance and deemed the market was eligible for the California Register of Historic Resources. “The building embodies the distinctive features of the false front commercial structure found in early twentieth century California and is quite possibly the only example of its type remaining in San Mateo.” In January 2016, a 278-signature petition to maintain the historic market was presented at a public hearing. Salvador “Sal” Urbina, representing S & M Market gave a heart-felt testimonial about what it meant to him and his family to protect the market and our neighborhood history. The developers and City agreed to preserve the market and construct seven new craftsman style residential condominiums. Today S & M Market is under new management and will soon undergo a remodel and reopen early Summer 2018.

References: Historical Resource Evaluation Report 737 and 739 2nd Avenue, San Mateo, CA. architecture + history, llc. (December 18, 2015); Official map of San Mateo County, California. San Francisco. Schmidt Label & Lith. Co. (1894); STATE SENATOR DIES AFTER LONG ILLNESS. San Francisco Call, Volume 93, Number 162 (May 11, 1903); City of San Mateo Planning Commission Public Hearing (October 13, 2016)

North Central is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the City of San Mateo and home to many trailblazers. As North Central residents we are all custodians of this rich and diverse history. HANCSM is proud to share stories of our neighborhood history and the leaders who helped shaped the community that we enjoy today. Poet Robert Penn Warren said, “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” 


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