history

The Verdi Club’s history is intertwined with the history of San Francisco. In 1916, a group of Italian-American men, led by George Gaggetti, met in the back of a barbershop at 24th and Vermont Streets and founded the Verdi Club. They named it after Giuseppe Verdi, Italy’s most-famous opera composer. The Verdi Club has operated continuously in San Francisco since its opening, celebrating fellowship and sponsoring civic and social activities.

Initially established as a social club for people of Italian descent, the Verdi Club hosted member events, such as banquets, dances and picnics. In the late 1920’s the Verdi Club formed both a soccer team and a baseball team. The Verdi Club’s soccer team played in the San Francisco Football League and its baseball team played in the Funston League.

Today, it is known in the city for hosting weddings, generational celebrations, emerging bands, spoken word events, ballroom dancing revival and so much more.

Our Story

Over the Years

^
1916

Founded

It was during the early part of this year that a group of Italian – American men, led by George Gaggetti, met in the back of a barber shop at 24th and Vermont Street, to lay out plans for the founding of the club. Mr. Gaggetti presided at the meeting and was elected president. The first initiation was held a few days later, over 50 members were accepted. With increasing membership, the Verdi Club moved from the back room of the barbershop, to a small hall on 24th and Folsom Street.

^
1919

The club once again out growing their space moved to their own building on 26th Street near Alabama.

^
1929

Successful in social events, the members decided to invade the sport field and a baseball team was formed in the late twenties. This first venture in the athletic world was meet favorably and a few years later soccer and baseball teams were formed. Both baseball and soccer teams became widely known up and down the coast.

^
1933-1934

The Verdi soccer team after one session in the second division, entered the San Francisco Football League first division and became one of the most publicized teams.

The publicity received in newspapers made the club ever more popular, and by this time over 400 had joined. This created a problem. The building was too small. Plans were made to build a suitable club.

^
1935

It was May of this year that the Verdi Club’s dream of a large and modern building became a reality with the opening of the Club at 2424 Mariposa Street.

In the next few months, after the opening of the new building, over 500 members joined. The soccer team became known as one of the best in California, winning many titles. Baseball likewise. A women’s rooting section, known as the Verdiettes, was organized and the local dailies ran stories about the activities of this active group, which was one of the most colorful in local sport.
Many of the famous baseball stars got their start in the club, in the Funston League.

Boxing and wrestling exhibitions were monthly attractions.

World boxing champions, Young Corbett and Tony Canzoneri, made the Verdi Club their training headquarters.

When Joe DiMaggio graduated to the majors, it was the Verdi Club that sponsored the DiMaggio Day at Seals Stadium.

Bowling teams for both sexes were added to the athletic section.

^
1948

Membership to the club was reopened in order to fill the vacancies created by the war years.

Dinner dances, barn dances, picnics, barbecues, are some of the many activities of the club. Meetings are held every Monday evening.

The war years found the club struggling to stay in sports and continue its social activities. It was then that 30 members took over the club and financed it, so that the building would remain in the possession of the club. Offices were built on the mezzanine floors and rented out to various unions and associations.

^
1950’s

During the war and up to 1952 the club was under management of the stockholders, which in 1954 when the building was bought from them. They numbered twenty-two stockholders and forty associate members. After 1954 most stockholders joined the regular club, and from then on the club prospered.

Member dues were $12.00 a year until the 1980’s.
The club expanded to 120 members and all were vested. Membership was closed unless someone passed away.

There was no liquor license all drinks were included.

^
1960’s

The club formed a bowling league for it’s members. The teams had both men and women.

^
1970’s

The club purchased a liquor license the cost was $12,000.

The club was opened to associate members. At this time eighty-percent of the club’s members were Italian and worked for Scavenger.

One of the more memorable themed dances was a western dance. The club raffled off a goat and a duck.

^
1980’s

Until the late 1980’s you could join the Verdiettes if you were a wife of a member or a girlfriend. After the late 1980’s a non-member could become a Verdiette.
Line dancing to the song “Elvira” by the Oak Ridge Boys becomes a part of every Verdi Club dinner dance.

^
2002

Milonga ~ began holding dance lessons and dancing on Thursday nights.

^
2004

Tuesday Night Jump (Swing) was in full swing.

Sean Gawel is the Chef at the Verdi Club.

^
2006

Porchlight ~ A Story Telling series performs monthly.

^
2007-2009

Bill Magidson becomes the most senior member to become president.

^
2010

Rock Band Land’s beginnings are at the Verdi Club. Bawdy Storytelling happens monthly at the Verdi Club.

^
2013

Jason Mulvaney is the manager of the Verdi Club.

^
2015

The club opens membership to women.

^
2016

May 14th is the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Verdi Club.

Vintage Class with a side of multigenerational party – SF Chronicle

^
2017
Verdi Club member and volunteer Bonnie McGregor designs and oversees renovations including entryway, lounge, and ballroom
^
2018

Verdi Club gives back to the community through food and toy drives tor local families. 

^
2019
Internationally renowned performer Gunhild Carling performs at The Verdi Club New Years Eve Dinner Dance.

Delores Homisak makes history and is celebrated as the Verdi Clubs’ first woman president:
Woman quietly takes helm of 103 year old club in SF – SF Chronicle

^
2020
In March the Verdi Club is closed due to the Global Pandemic COVID19 / May Verdi to Go is launched a weekly Dinner Program orchestrated by long time Chef Sean Gawel and Club manager Jason Mulvaney.
1918 ~ March 9th was the 2nd Verdi Club Anniversary Dinner held at Charles Fashion Grill, 8 months prior to the end of World War I. This was the tail end of the Rag Time music and dance era.

1933-1934 ~ The Verdi soccer team following one season in the second division, entered the San Francisco Football League first division, and became one of the most publicized teams. Winning many titles, the soccer team was one of the best in California.

1935 ~ It was May of this year that the Verdi Club’s dream of a large and modern building became a reality with the opening of the Club at 2424 Mariposa Street. In the following months over 500 new members joined.
1935 ~ Joltin’ Joe Has Left and Gone Away

After his stint with the San Francisco Seals, it was time for Joe Dimaggio to pack up and head for the East Coast to begin his career with the New York Yankees. As a gesture for his service and showcasing his talent to fans, the Verdi Club of San Francisco presented Joe with a travelling bag, a hat and other gifts. The picture was taken on July 21, 1935, when Joe was 20 years old

1948 ~ Is the year that brought us the winning Verdi Club baseball team. San Francisco Recreation Department Class A Champs. Participating Verdi Club future presidents included Top, 2nd left Marty Stimmel and Bottom 4th left Bill Magidson. They were best friends for life.
1949 ~ July 31st Verdi Club President Marty and his new wife Betty Stimmel enjoying their wedding reception at the Verdi Club with a special flower arrangement from the Club.

Member gallery

Business Info

We Can't Wait to See You!

Call Us

(415) 861-9199

Visit Us

2424 Mariposa St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Email Us

info@verdiclub.net