February 19th, 1912
9.875 in HIGH x 13.875 in WIDE
(25.08 cm HIGH x 35.24 cm WIDE)
Museum Purchase

Photograph. Description: Title: Oakland Architectural Association. Annual banquet, Saddle Rock Cafe. Black and white print, with border, mounted on dark grey board, some silvering. From: Oakland Heritage Alliance News, by William W. Sturm Spring 1993 The Saddle Rock Caf_ Prince among the aristocrats of Oakland's fine restaurants from the past was the Saddle Rock Caf_, situated on the north side of 13th Street between Broadway and Franklin, among the hubbub of the city's business and theatrical life. "One of the oldest cafes in the city is the Saddle Rock," the Oakland Enquirer informed its readers in 1909, "and it is safe to say that none are more popular than is this elegant restaurant... In the main dining room one hundred and seventy-five guests may be seated while the private dining rooms and the banquet room provide for many more, and each guest is carefully served, an endeavor being made to anticipate each patron's wishes and serve them as well as though in their own homes...The Saddle Rock is the Mecca of the smart set as well as strangers and citizens who appreciate a perfect cuisine and an unexcelled service." The boutonniere on the frock coat of all this gastronomical finery was proprietor Pasqual Kisich who, at the age of 19, emigrated from his native Austria to New York, thence west where, briefly, he engaged in the restaurant business in San Francisco. Arriving in Oakland in 1889, Mr. Kisich dabbled for a short spell in the wine trade, then opened his restaurant dubbed the Saddle Rock in 1891. First located on 12th Street near Broadway, the caf_ soon prospered and by the century's turn Mr. Kisich had found new quarters for his enterprise on Broadway near 13th Street. By 1905, the Saddle Rock was ready for business in its elegant structure on 13th Street. Mr. Kisich spared no expense embellishing his restaurant. "The interior of the Saddle Rock has been most handsomely decorated," observed one reporter. "The general design of the ceiling, with its heavy beams, tends toward the Oriental idea, there being lavish use of gold in the decorative scheme. The walls are paneled with that semi-tropical foliage which we enjoy in this part of California." Patrons were soothed by the Orphean strains of a "high-class orchestra." "Every delicacy of the season are served in first-class style. Oysters and game are specialties." After 1918, the caf_ was succeeded by Richard's Restaurant. Today the site of the Saddke Rock caf_ is occupied by a multi-level parking lot of decidedly banal appearance. Mr. Kisich would not have approved.
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