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Mission Trails: 1942

Mission Trails: 1942

It's 1942 and we're back in San Francisco for another look at one of the many fine establishments made even finer by the installation of Buckley Music System's "Music Box." The eatery is Andy Wong's "Fair Famous" Mission Trails Restaurant, Harvey Lum, manager, at 500 Sutter Street. Close your eyes and you can practically hear Padre tolling the mission bell while the brothers pound out their tortillas. 8x10 inch acetate negative, photographer unknown. View full size.


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Triple Selfie

of the cameraman. Two in the reflection behind the counter and the third on the right in the back section behind the two waitresses.

The Real Original Formula

of coke from Mexico is good, but better yet is the French version. We were on a trip with my daughters school to France and Spain and brought back cans of French and Spanish Coke. We lined up 4 versions to try in a blind test. We had American, French, Mexican, and Spanish versions and the consensus was that French was the best, followed by Spanish, Mexican and American was dead last. The French version uses better extracts for the flavoring and is outstanding! I don't know if the American version uses natural extracts or not, but I can't drink it anymore.


We still use old juicers like that in many bars and restaurants here in the US Virgin Islands.
Limes for margaritas.
Oranges for Mimosas.
Lemons for cooking.

Re: Unbottled Coke

In the 1920's my mother waitressed at a place that served "mix it in front of you" Coke. The Coca-Cola company used to send around undercover employees to check that the proprietor wasn't skimping on the syrup in the customers' drinks.

My nostalgia glands need

Shorpy to give us a readable blow-up of the Music Box offerings.

[Click to enlarge. - Dave]

What's upstairs?

The curtained staircase in the back looks mysteriously inviting. I wonder if there was additional seating upstairs. Would any San Francisco-based Shorpyites be willing to pay a visit to Lori's Diner, which is now in this location, and give us a new photo of the interior for comparison?

Broom Must Be On The Fritz

There's cigarette butts on the counter footrest and about 74 years worth of dust behind the main jukebox. If they'd only known how sharp an 8x10 negative is, they might have tidied up a little.

I'm just a gringo, I guess.

I was thrilled to see Mexican Coke at a car dealership promotion recently and took a couple of bottles home. My family did a blind side-by-side taste test against American Coke (with HFCS) out of a plastic bottle. Two of us guessed correctly, and 2 were wrong. Moreover, I personally slightly preferred the American version, even though both were plenty good. Oh well.

I found it!

By "it" I mean cigarette butt, on the floor between the first two stools on the left.

I'd love to visit that era but I'd probably croak from the fumes.

Things on the backs of chairs

Are the small metal bits on the backs of the chairs clips for hats? Or purses? Trying to figure them out.

[Hats. See the other recent cafe photos for more examples of this latest Shorpy Favorite Thing. -tterrace]

Where can I get a good malt?

The container flanked by the two malt machines contains the malt ingredient necessary for a good “malted milk,” and the probability is very high it’s the Horlicks brand. Back in the dark ages we could buy a good malt for 35 cents, with real ice cream to boot. More often than not the server would bring the metal mixing container filled with the drink to the customer along with an empty glass to drink it from. There was always enough for two full glasses. Darn, those things were good! Can you even find a place these days selling malts?

Conical Device

It is an orange juice squeezer. I used to have a less expensive one that I bought second hand back in the 1960s.

Try "Mexican Coke"

Indeed! I just finished off 12 bottles of the delicious beverage a friend brought me from Monterrey, Mexico! I hadn't the heart to throw away the bottles and have them lined up on my back porch!

I hope these enterprising people were not among those who were victims of the 1942 Japanese internment.

[They're Chinese. -tterrace]

Was the property seized I wonder

I wonder if the gentleman lost his establishment during the war and ended up in a concentration camp.

[He's of Chinese descent, so no. - Dave]

Coastline in the mirror ?

As seen above our hostess' head. Can someone identify it for this Ohio boy?

[Given the California Mission theme of the restaurant, it's most likely a fanciful "olde mappe" of the California coastline, rotated and probably showing the locations of the missions. -tterrace]

In reply to the 'conical shaped devices': I saw several in Key West used to juice citrus fruits. MMMMM. /RZ


Are the strange devices you're talking about the juicers?
Don't know whether they served fresh squeezed orange juice, but they may have made lemonade and limeade from fresh fruit.
I used a similar device working the fountain in a drug store.

Was once a promising mixologist and more

My father used to have a soda fountain in his store and as young man I used to mix up all types of concoctions.

Vanilla Coke was one of my favorites. When I see a counter like that it recalls memories of all the used chewing gum stuck on the bottom of the counter.

I think

RBPjr is talking about the orange juicer and its reflection in the mirror.

Deja vu, sort of

Was sippin' on a bottled Coke when I pulled this photo up, and the sight of that Coca-Cola soda-jerking-type tap flashed a memory of how very different this particular soft drink tasted back in the '50s, when soda fountains abounded and a Coke was mixed right there in front of me, and served in an actual glass glass with a straw and little ice cylinders, each with a little hole through the center. I sighed, and instantly thought of two things: one, that Cokes don't taste like they did in the old days; and two, that every day, my reminiscences are sounding more and more like those of my late Dad.

I can live with both.

[Try "Mexican Coke," bottled in actual glass bottles and made from the original syrup recipe, with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. - Dave]

Thanks much, Dave. Your reply marks the first I've heard/read of the Mexican, uh, version of the soft drink.

Go West, Young Man

At least as far West as the Sunset District near Golden Gate Park. Polk's 1951 SFO directory shows that one Harvey Lum was now a proprietor at new digs located 1239 9th Ave. One can only hope he ported over the great idea of those chair back hat clips. And maybe the idea of the Happy Trails carried over as well. It's now a very highly rated taqueria.

Strange devices...

I'm wondering what the two conical shaped devices to the right of the milk shake machines are? Large lever to push something into a cup or glass?

[Are you talking about the ground coffee dispenser and its reflection in the mirror? -tterrace]

Feeling the need

If Shorpy feels the need to destroy images by background overlays of their name, I might as well not come back. I'd hate to see images destroyed.

[All of our photos have that. The watermark isn't "destroying" anything. Without it, we would not have purchased, scanned and published the image, and you never would have seen it in the first place. - Dave]

I understand. Thank you for the reply.

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