Lunch At Girards

johns_grill as Smart Object-1girards_salad021 as Smart Object-1

Girard’s was located on the third floor of the building¬†at 65 Ellis Street occupied on lower levels by the historic John’s Grill, established in 1908.¬†Image Source: The only trace of Girard’s today are the retail-sold salad dressings.

Girard's Ad

1939 ad from the Golden Gate International Exposition Guidebook.

Thursday June 8, 1939. “Downtown with Zella Reilly. Bought drapes and rods for the living room. Lunch at Girards.”

Hotel Empire Sky Room

“A drink at the Sky Room. Lots of window shopping. Nite: Sam and I walked in the the park.”


Friday June 9, 1939 “Got the drapes hung. Nite: met Marc, Bessie, and Streets at the Blue Fox Room for a couple of drinks. Then to see Ice Follies at Winterland. Swell show! After to Jacopetti’s, Cafe Diablo’s, and then home at 12:30. Rene over to see Jeanne.”


Saturday June 10, 1939. “Quiet day. Home mostly. Sam worked all day. Picked him up at 5:30. Home for dinner. Nite: read and to bed early. Fog.”


Sunday June 11, 1939. “Sam and I walked to the beach in the A.M. Seal Rocks were covered with seals. Marc, Palmer, Murphy, Doni over. We went to Doc’s Ranch at Walnut Creek. Stoped at Palmer’s place in Alameda. Got cat. Hot in the country. Fog in our distance.”

I tried digging for information about Doc’s Ranch. Not much there. Here’s a note from the Contra Costa County Historical Society:

“We believe “Doc’s Ranch” refers to Dr. A.H. Rowan, who built a hotel and spa on Ygnacio Sibrian’s Sulphur Springs Ranch property. He called it “Bareges Sulphur Springs, named after the Bareges-Barzun Springs in the French Pyrenees Mountains. He charged $12 a week for board, lodging and use of the baths until fire destroyed the hotel in 1875. The sulphur spring still exists, near Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek.”Seems like there must be more to this story.

Monday June 12, 1939. “M. stayed here last night. Lazy day. Felt the cold. Took kitten and Bijou to meet Jeanne after school. Little Jimmy called up – also F. this afternoon, surprise. Picked up Sam at 5. Bed early.”

Tuesday June 13, 1939. “Lovely afternoon. Nice walk in the park. Quiet evening.”

ModelYachtClubSpeckels_postcard as Smart Object-1

Wednesday June 14, 1939. “Zella over. We walked in the park and saw the miniature yacht club house.”

“Saw the baby Buffalo. Foggy. Nite: to the library. Half day at school for Jeanne. Took Sam down to do work at the plant. Home 12:30”


Thursday June 15, 1939. “Rather sleepy this A.M. Lazy day but cooked nice dinner. Tony and Phil over in early evening – slight rain tonite. Sam and I up late drinking Tom Collins.”

I am Dan Soderberg, award winning documentary film maker and phototgrapher specializing in architecture, historic preservation and nature.

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