How a Filipina Restaurant Owner Became a Guardian of American History
When Vanessa Garcia first laid her eyes on the 7 Mile House restaurant, she was intimidated, but an inner voice told her there was something special about it.
“If you looked at it from the outside, you wouldn’t come in,” Garcia told NBC News. “It didn’t even look like a decent dive bar. It looked scary. But I thought it was beautiful.”
Garcia, a Filipina immigrant, took over the 7 Mile House Restaurant in 2004. The restaurant, built in 1853, was a stagecoach stop seven miles from the San Francisco Ferry Building during the Gold Rush. It is the Bay Area’s last “mile house” left standing in its original location, according to Garcia. Established in the 1800s, mile houses served as rest stops for stagecoaches during long stretches of travel.
Today, 7 Mile House is a local hangout led by Garcia, who has given the historic landmark a Filipino twist.
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