Located on former marsh land, the South End is built mostly of mid-nineteenth century bowfronts—aesthetically uniform rows of five-story, predominantly red-brick structures, of mixed residential and commercial uses.
The South End’s population has been diverse since the 1880s when Irish, Lebanese, Jewish, African-American, and Greek populations began to settle in the neighborhood. In the 1930s a substantial immigration from Canada’s Maritime Provinces found economic opportunity in Boston, and homes in the South End neighborhood.
The South End is one of Boston’s main restaurant districts offering a diverse mix of cuisines. Tremont Street is often called “Restaurant Row.” The South End’s range of restaurants include American southern “Low Country”, French, Ethiopian, Brazilian, Indian, Italian, Venezuelan, African, Peruvian, Latin American, Thai, and Japanese among others.
The South End also has a growing retail presence, much of it aimed primarily at upper-middle class shoppers. New retail shops offer a range of handmade gifts by local artists, home furnishings, men’s and women’s clothing, stationery, specialty foods, spa services, and a rapidly growing number of manicure and pedicure shops.