San Francisco’s Famed Cliff House Marks 150th Anniversary

Saturday, April 27 2013 12:50   California
San Francisco's famous Cliff House celebrates its 150-year anniversary this year, having survived earthquakes, fires, and the Pacific Ocean's pounding, turbulent waves.

Constructed in 1863, the year of the Battle of Gettysburg, and renovated three times, the Cliff House is among a rarified number of U.S. restaurants still in operation dating from the Civil War period in U.S. history.

firstcliffhouse_sealrock_1894Celebrations are planned, July 13-19, including seminars with local historians and antiquities collectors. The festivities will culminate July 19 with a celebration of tasting and dancing in the Terrace room. Price is $18.63 per person. Sutro's will offer a $150 pre-fixe dinner for two with commemorative favors and the Bistro will feature an $18.63 dinner entrée, as well as Sutro's serving an $18.63 lunch entrée offered throughout the end of the year.

The Cliff House property was purchased in 1881 by Adolph Sutro, later a San Francisco mayor. As the crown jewel of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it is part of the largest urban national park west of the Mississippi. In conjunction with the National Park Service, it recently installed a wind turbine to further its sustainability.

General Manager Ralph Burgin, and proprietors Dan and Mary Hountalas, have run the eco-friendly landmark for 40 years, recycling, composting, and buying locally, and organically when possible.

cliffhouse_shore_line"We are honored to be stewards of such an important landmark in San Francisco history," says Mary Hountalas, who collected countless artifacts and four decades of research for her book, The San Francisco Cliff House.

The Cliff House is operated by Peanut Wagon, Inc. and is a concessionaire of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). Located at 1090 Point Lobos, the western-most point of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's historic Sutro Heights District, the Cliff House is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Champagne Brunch Buffet is offered on Sunday in the Terrace Room, also available for private functions. The Cliff House Gift shop is open daily.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of the world's largest urban national parks, hugging the California coastline for nearly 60 miles around the San Francisco Bay Area.

The GGNRA chronicles two hundred years of history, from the Native American culture, the Spanish Empire frontier and the Mexican Republic, to maritime history, the California Gold Rush, the evolution of American coastal fortifications, and the growth of urban San Francisco.

Complimentary parking is available in nearby park lots. Valet parking offered nightly. For more information, visit or call (415) 386-3330.


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