Categories: Sponsored

Creating A Home In The Middle Of Nowhere

Photo: Courtesy of Toni Zernick

Throughout 7 Mile House’s colorful 160-year-long history, it’s been called home by the thousands of people who’ve walked through its doors. A relentless restaurateur finds out why.

By Regina Abuyuan

In 2004, Vanessa Garcia purchased the 7 Mile House, a dark dive “in the middle of nowhere,” unaware of its history, the countless stories contained within its walls—and that, for the better part of the last 160 years, it was home to thousands of locals and travelers of all colors and persuasions.

Her first realizations that the place had any historical importance was a faded photograph of the bar, attributed to the late 19th century. Who were the people in the photo? Were their descendants still alive? And how did Albert Flynn, from whom she had bought the restaurant and who people said had worked for notorious bookmaker Ronald “The Cigar” Sacco, acquire it? Over the years, Garcia tried—unsuccessfully—to piece together fragments and information about her restaurant, to fill in unanswered gaps and mysteries about 7 Mile House, while indefatigably breathing back life into her fledgling business.

It was a fourteen-year long journey that culminates this year with 7 Mile House’s 160th anniversary and the launch of Garcia’s self-published book “See You At The 7 – Stories From the Bay Area’s Last Original Mile House.”

In this first-ever comprehensive narrative on “The 7,” as it came to be called in the 1950s, Garcia traces its roots from 1858, when it began as a toll gate carved along the bayside of San Bruno mountain; to a saloon, hotel, and wheelman’s exchange in the early 1900s; to an illegal gambling den in the years leading up to Prohibition; to a melting pot of carefree workers from Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1940s and S.E. Rykoff in the 1980s; to the location of the largest illegal sports gambling syndicate West of the Mississippi; to the family and dog-friendly restaurant, sports bar, and live music venue that it is today.

Culled from weeks’ worth of interviews, and countless hours in the archives of San Mateo, San Francisco, and Sacramento Counties and photographic collections, the finished product is a richly-illustrated, deeply personal book about how an extraordinary place has withstood the fickle tides of history while remaining true to its essence: a home to come back to when the days are just too rough—or when hearts are exploding with a joy that must be shared among people you choose to call family.

The book is co-authored by award-winning editor Regina Abuyuan, with a foreword by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Carl Nolte (Native Son).

The book is available for pre-order at 7milehouse.com/shop while the book launch and anniversary party will take place on Friday, January 26. Come early and pick up a to-go bowl of their famous Pork Adobo and Rice for free. The book signing and pick up party is from 3-6pm. DJs will be spinning feel good tunes from 4-8pm, followed by the party rocking LP band to close out the celebration from 9:00pm-12:30am. #SeeYouAtThe7

Sponsor
Share
Published by
Sponsor

Recent Posts

Preparing for the ‘Big One’

Twenty-nine years ago this week, the San Andreas Fault sent a shock that reverberated throughout the Bay Area. This shock…

5 mins ago

Lyft and SF partner to offer free bikeshare for SFSU students

About 550 San Francisco State University students — including some of its poorest — will soon be able to rent…

5 mins ago

Sacred Heart Cathedral beats St. Ignatius for outright WCAL volleyball championship

SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL -- A year ago, Sacred Heart Cathedral senior outside hitter Lauren Sera's mother passed away. She doesn't…

27 mins ago

Reports suggest radioactive contamination affects Hunters Point Shipyard in areas never tested by Navy

Two new reports released Thursday by researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz show that radioactive contamination at…

7 hours ago

Tickets to go on sale Monday as Hamilton returns to SF

The hit play "Hamilton" is returning to San Francisco and tickets go on sale to the public on Monday morning,…

8 hours ago

Planning Commission approves new restrictions on Mission District bars, restaurants

The San Francisco Planning Commission on Thursday tightened restrictions on new bars and alcohol-serving restaurants vying to set up shop…

8 hours ago