When the rails of the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific were joined at Promontory Point, Utah, in the Spring of 1869, the dreams of many men were realized. Four such men were the Central Pacific’s “Big Four,” C. P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins and Leland Stanford. These men started from behind the counters of pioneer stores in Sacramento and, in less than two decades, shouldered their way to places of national importance. The careers of these four covered a long and colorful era of Pacific Coast history. These men became San Francisco’s most distinguished and talked about citizens. All resided in the most elegant, lavish and exquisite mansions, surrounding the present location of the Big 4 Restaurant at The Huntington Hotel.
The famous Big Four held center stage in San Francisco for more than a third of a century. During that entire period, there was hardly an issue of a Pacific Coast newspaper or magazine that did not contain reference to some phase of their varied activities. The Big 4 Restaurant recaptures the era when the famous Big Four reigned supreme from Nob Hill over all of San Francisco.