Whether it’s live jazz streaming out of its doors or the waft of sisig sizzling on a hot plate, you can’t help but be lured in by the warmth, charm and an experience like no other at 7 Mile House. For 162 years, it has continued to live up beyond the hype—a steady stalwart in a sea of changes at the intersection of San Francisco, Brisbane and Daly City.
On January 25th, the historic restaurant opened its doors with a tent toting its signature black and yellow awning outside. The morning was thick with fog, but owner Vanessa Garcia, her mom Cleo and daughter Visa were all smiles as they set up the free adobo and rice bowls to be handed to patrons and customers who came by.
In spite of the changing demographics and demands of the Bay Area—manifested in 411 restaurant closures in San Francisco from January to October 2019—7 Mile House remains steadfast and committed to its roots and to the legacy it seeks to preserve.
“We’re so thrilled to be here this morning, standing strong knowing that the restaurant has survived because of our community. As soon as you walk through the doors, you’re not just a customer but you’re family, a part of living history that 7 Mile House continues to carry. So many restaurants in the Bay Area have closed but we’re still here and we’re incredibly grateful to everyone who keeps showing up. We’ve also taken the time to listen to what customers are seeking or are looking for, so we can continue to evolve,” says owner Vanessa Garcia.
In the past year, the restaurant introduced a vegetarian option, the Beyond Burger which is made of a plant-based meat substitute. And starting this month, there are also more additions to the menu which include vegan and vegetarian options. Everyone’s beloved sizzling sisig dish is getting a vegan version, which can be eaten with steamed rice or however way folks enjoy their sisig. There are also portobello mushroom burgers and sandwiches, a vegan afritada (plant-based substitute sauteed with potatoes and carrots) and an “I can’t believe it’s not an egg salad” open-faced sandwich.
As more people trickled in, the sun finally came out and bathed the area in light as golden as the “162” balloons that marked the occasion. Inside, karaoke jockey Glenny Kravitz was cranking away while local karaoke champ Uncle Larry belted Alicia Keys’s “No One” with the crowd cheering and singing along. It felt like a huge family party inside. The festivities continued later on in the night, with Andre Thierry Zydeco gracing the stage with his Accordion Soul music. A couple even drove up from Fremont to see Andre Thierry since he played at their wedding. People took photos of the 7 Mile House birthday cake, a mini-replica of the 1858 restaurant Vanessa had made specially for the day.
From 1858 to the present, no matter what the tides bring in, 7 Mile House will remain a place and a home true to its character: #WhereTheLocalsGo. For more info, visit 7milehouse.com.