Barbary Coast | Evans & Brown mural art

Barbary Coast live

For the San Francisco law offices of Keker & Van Nest, Evans and Brown rendered a bygone era when the firm’s neighborhood was a riotous, infamous red-light district. The once-notorious Barbary Coast today includes a mix of the sedate, historic Jackson Square commercial district, where the firm keeps its office; bustling Chinatown streets, and lively North Beach restaurants and bars. There is scarcely a trace of the nefarious ne’er-do-wells who once prowled the quarter. The law firm itself is known for its track record in winning tough cases, a different kind of brawling. “We take the tough cases, the make or break cases where companies, products, careers are riding on the result,” the firm proudly boasts on its website. “Indeed, we have found our eagerness to try cases often helps them settle.”

Evans & Brown brought bare-knuckled brawlers back to life in the Barbary Coast mural, along with flirtatious prostitutes, a famous drag queen, Chinatown merchants and militant dockworkers. “We wanted the mural to look at the underbelly and not sugarcoat anything,” Charley explained to the San Francisco Chronicle. “This was a unique criminal district.”