Millicent Muller: Frank & Fanny Torres

Frank & Fanny Torres photo from Millie Muller


Part of a 1971 article:

Slide Threat Halts Work at Seal Cove
“The moratorium extends for a half-mile both
north and south of Seal Cove and between the ocean and county-
owned Half Moon Bay Airport. There are an estimated 100 building
sites in the 750-acre area, where the major land owners are Deane &
Deane Inc. and the family of Frank Torres, pioneer Coastside restaurateur.”
It quotes Frank Sr. saying that he build a $60,000 home right in the slide
area, right on the cliff, six years ago. and there are no signs of any
damage yet…”

June adds: Before Frank died, I think, in the 1980s, I visited him at his home, painted pink, and overlooking the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve steps away from the Moss Beach Distillery, the famous roadhouse he had owned in the late 1920s. I had a plan: I was there to talk to him about Prohibition, and I hoped he would spill the beans. He didn’t but we had a good time nonetheless. Was he even personally involved in Prohibition? Maybe not.  Someone told me he had a conneciton to a place, with a fascinating name,  “Vesuvius” in San Francisco. What I did see in his living room, and what I would like to see again, was the unforgettable painting of Frank Torres on the wall. A beautiful image of Frank in suit and tie with Devil’s Slide behind him.

Gray Gardner Loved Frank’s “Roadhouse” over looking Montara Beach

Story by Gray Gardner

Email Gray: [email protected]

Dear June, I simply loved that old place after Dave, Sam, & Paul, The Distillery Guys, bought it and re-opened it in 1974 or 75. A lot of the “Distillery Locals” would spend  about half  their time there, especially because it had a Dance Floor, and some great Rock & Roll Bands .Also  by this time the food at the Distillery was really starting to catch on in the whole Bay Area,  the Locals weren’t there to scare off the tourists .

I have somewhere,the ticket (Certified) for the First Drink sold at the  Grand Re-opening.

I stayed there,upstairs, several times on visits after I moved back to Missouri and Ohio, The pipes were so Calcified, that it took ½ hour to take a shower. I never quite forgave the Guys for tearing it down and building the Chart House.(I don’t think it had anything to do with the Coastal Commission).  When David Andrews took it back over in 2000-2001, and failed, he blamed   the problem on Parking, which WAS part of the problem, but location, &  the number of new Restaurants around added to the problem. But the new building and atmosphere weren’t attractive to the  locals as well .

I have often thought that if someone could re-create the old 1950’s Roadhouse at that location it would be packed.

Take care-Gray