In 1960 the Basque Club of California was formed. This club is better known as the San Francisco Basque Club or simply the Basque Club. In 1979, the building at Broadway and Larkin, a bowling alley, that was used by the Basque Club was torn down to build a condominium complex. This was a huge void for the Basque Club. Many of the activities, i.e. Klika practice, Dance practice, etc. were regularly held on the third floor of the bowling alley. The outside wall of the bowling alley served as a Frontis for the plaza providing an open pilota plaza for the Club pilota players. When the commercial building was torn down the San Francisco Basque Club members had no place to gather and participate in Basque Club activities.
Some members in the Basque Club tried to initiate an effort to build a building for the Basque Club but each time this came up in a meeting it was voted down. The members in the Basque Club that were pushing for the building then began to meet on their own and formed their own corporation to build a Basque Center, and the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center, Inc. (BCC) was born in 1979. The building we know today as the Basque Cultural Center opened its doors in 1982.
A couple of years later in 1984 the Basque Club board of directors explored the idea of merging with the BCC. Many of the Basque Club members were already BCC members and consolidation seemed like a good idea. One of the challenges was to transfer the monetary assets of the Basque Club to the BCC. Doing this directly would have caused a huge tax liability, so the Basque Club directors created a charitable organization called the Basque Educational Organization (BEO), with 501(c)(3) tax exemption. Unfortunately the consolidation process created other issues that the two boards could not come to terms with and the consolidation effort was abandoned. At around the same time, the BCC’s accountant advised the BCC Board of Directors on diversifying their activities into different corporations for tax purposes. They advised one for the restaurant business, which the BCC had created to raise funds to pay off loans and other expenses. They also advised to create a charitable organization for cultural activities. A separate corporation was created for the restaurant (called 599 Railroad Ave Catering, Inc.). Since the BEO had already been created the BCC decided to use it. The BEO bylaws at the request of the BCC attorney were amended to require that the BEO board of directors be BCC members (Article III, section III). The BCC never moved all of its cultural activities into the BEO, but did use it for the creation of a library, and Euskara classes and other cultural initiatives throughout the years.