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Thursday, April 11, 2013

150 Years - The Cliff House Survives, Rebuilds and Sets a New Standard

 The Cliff House celebrates its 150-year anniversary this year, having survived earthquakes, fires, and turbulent Pacific 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.


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 “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.

To mark the anniversary, The Cliff House movie premieres April 12-18 at the Balboa Theater in San Francisco. The film, written and directed by Tom Wyrsch, and produced by Wyrsch and Strephon Taylor, features archival photographs, motion picture footage, and historian interviews.

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.


Celebrations 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.

Located at 1090 Point Lobos, the western-most point of the GGNRA’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.

Complimentary parking is available in nearby park lots. Valet parking offered nightly. The Cliff House is operated by Peanut Wagon, Inc. and is a concessionaire of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Information, visit www.cliffhouse.com or call (415) 386-3330.
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