Looking Back: DiMaggio’s Restaurant

September 27, 2016

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Please excuse the quality of the reproduction: this is a forty year old Xerox of a menu that was already forty years old when I copied it.  But there’s a lot to look at here, from the fact that abalone was still pretty inexpensive, that Olympia oysters were still available (they all but disappeared for many years), and that a child’s plate consisted of filet of sole or lamb chop (one). Not exactly what we’d consider kid food today.

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If you want to see what Di Maggio’s Restaurant looked like, this article includes wonderful vintage video of the place.

 

What isn’t mentioned?  That Joltin’ Joe’s Dad, Giuseppe, a lifelong fisherman, was not allowed to fish during World War II because he was Italian, and considered an alien risk. He was not, in fact, even allowed to visit the family restaurant: As an enemy alien, he was prohibited from traveling more than five miles without permission. (Italians in San Francisco also had a curfew, and many of their homes were seized by the government.)

For more information on the family, this article is instructive.

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15 Comments

  • Jane says:

    Thanks for this memory, I ate at Di Maggio’s on my first trip to San Francisco in 1964, I was a junior in college in South Dakota and loved everything about San Francisco. As I recall, the food was very good. Now I live in a city about 40 miles east of SF but still love visiting “the city”.

  • Mary Jane says:

    My first sit down (as distinguished from ‘walk away’ crab cocktail) dinner in San Francisco was at DiMaggio’s in 1968. I was 16 and visiting from Missouri to interview at colleges. I ordered the Cippino. It was so fresh and fabulous! It was also a huge amount of food. I was accepted to the college of my choice and never looked back. Subsequent visits to DiMaggio’s were hosted by my dorm-mates parents who always took us there on their visits to visit their daughters. Thank you for posting the menu, Ruth. It brings back really great memories.

  • Norma alexanian says:

    In the early 1950s I remember my uncle George Kozomian playing piano in the evenings at Joe’s restaurant. They were friends and I didn’t know how famous he was I just knew him as Joe. They also golfed together. Later as an adult I realized who he was. My uncle was an accountant by trade after the war where he was an Air Force pilot and then a commercial pilot. They were so similar and I rember Joes kindness sitting the living room chatting at my uncles house on Twin Peaks

  • Leo phillips says:

    I have a great photo of the neon sign out front from 1954 if you’d like to see it email me!

  • Gregory O’Leary says:

    Please send me the photo of the sign. My father Dan O’Leary and his partners John and Lou Papais’s company, Ad-Art Signs of Stockton designed and contructed Fisherman’s Warf Sign, Ghiradelli, Hams Beer and Glass that would foam to the rim and many Vegas signs on the strip in Las Vegas., Superdome, and many notables. Can you forward a photo of the sign you referenced? Thanks so much. 209 639-2908.

  • admin says:

    Gregory, I wish I had Leo Phillips’ email, but I don’t. Hopefully he’ll see your note.

  • Melissa says:

    My husband was stationed at Alemeda Naval Air Station in 1973-74 and thinks he ate at DiMaggio’s on the wharf. Was it still open by then?

  • Susan Hubbs says:

    I flew down from Seattle and ate at DiMaggio’s on the wharf February 14th 1981. I had the crab salad and it was excellent. I want to go back and have another crab salad but was sorry to hear that this restaurant is gone. Great memories of a good time.

  • Rod Burton says:

    I was 13 and a big baseball fan when our family visited San Francisco in the summer of 1953. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch and ate at Joe Dimaggio’s. I don’t remember much about the food, but I do remember walking down a hallway in the back of the restaurant to find the men’s room. There was an office with a big picture window, and sitting behind the desk, talking to someone, was Joe Dimaggio. Quite the thrill.

  • Brad M says:

    Thanks for the memory….my family ate at DiMaggio’s often. I remember their cioppino most of all.

  • Angela Blesi says:

    Hello,
    My 97 year old Mother, June has a signed menu by Joe Di Maggio from his World Famous Di Maggio’s Restaurant in SFO. We are wondering if this is something you would like for your archives and/or if it is valuable? We would love to hear back from you

  • jeff says:

    IF they don’t want the autographed menu I would like it for my collection but I don’t have much money. You can reach me at 3 zero 9-nine 6 two-6 four nine 1.
    jeff

  • Kevin Mahoney says:

    I worked at Dimaggios for several years in the early 1970’s. The entire family was very good to me as I was working my way through college. I know they kept me on in the winter longer than necessary to help me out. They were good to work for and were very kind to their employees – now Joe not so much, but he was not that nice to anyone.

  • Craig S Kuhn says:

    I actually have an original menu with Joe’s autograph on it.

  • Steve says:

    Knew the family through Dom’s side and my dad. Used to sit in the Boston family box. Last was in the SFO restaurant in 1974. Miss the old days. Almost too old to travel that far now anyway, but I’d really like to turn back the old clock!

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