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Having been protected behind the mirror for decades, the paintings were in relatively good condition, and one now hangs in the restaurant as a testament to its past.
As a result, Cha Cha Cha/Original Mc Carthy’s was born, blending the owners’ cultural traditions with the existing fabric.On April 19, 2004 the restaurant was struck by a runaway truck.Though a shocking event, the accident led to an unusual discovery.In the 1950s it moved to its current location at 18th Avenue and Taraval Street in the Parkside neighborhood.Chef Giuseppe Di Grande bought the Gold Mirror in 1969 and transformed it into a family-style Italian restaurant with traditional recipes and ambience.Denis Mc Carthy, an Irish immigrant from County Cork, was among the first proprietors in San Francisco to legally pour alcohol after the repeal of Prohibition on December 5, 1933.
For generations, the bar was an epicenter of the neighborhood’s Irish community, known for serving stiff Irish coffees and Guinness Stout.As the restaurant was reconstructed, workers uncovered several paintings behind the bar mirrors.Suggestive of 1940s décor and depicting two golden-haired women holding mirrors, the paintings revealed the story behind the business’s illusive name.Recent threats to local institutions like the Tonga Room, Tosca Café, and Gold Dust Lounge underscore the need to develop new strategies for protecting places with intangible cultural significance.“Legacy Bars and Restaurants” documents the city’s vast culinary heritage and promotes businesses that do not necessarily qualify for formal historic designation.They retained, for example, the original horseshoe bar, which is reputed to be the longest bar on the West Coast, along with mirrors and light switches stationed by each table dating to the establishment’s early days.