Friday, December 18, 2009

St. Helena Vegetarian Cafe burned in 1909

Originally posted 15 Jun 2009

Caspar Hoffman's older son, Henry H. Hoffman, was a waiter and restaurant owner in San Francisco. After the earthquake and fire we know he and A. W. Robins, as Robins and Hoffman, owned and operated the St. Helena Vegetarian Cafe at 418 Market Street in San Francisco from listings in the 1908 and 1909 city directories.

His descendant, Clifford Anderson, and I have recently thought about trying to learn more about this - to us - novel concept of a vegetarian cafe 100 years ago.

Today I learned about a new Internet resource for early California newspapers. It is the California Digital Newspaper Collection which offers free online access to the Golden State's historical newspapers at

I searched on the cafe's name and found one article in The San Francisco Call, Thursday, November 18, 1909, on page 4, column 3. Now we know why Henry Hoffman did not continue to run this interesting establishment.

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