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 Alioto's Restaurant 
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Post Alioto's Restaurant
Alioto's Restaurant
by: Cynthia Traina





Alioto's Restaurant, a San Francisco landmark located on Fisherman's Wharf, has long been part of San Francisco's rich history. The Alioto family, in addition to contributing one of the oldest eating establishments to the City, has given the city a two-term mayor, Joe Alioto, and a former San Francisco Supervisor, cousin Angela Alioto. It's no wonder the name Alioto is one that is closely associated with the City of San Francisco itself.

Led by the family's third generation, Alioto's Restaurant is reviving its past by returning to its rich Sicilian heritage. In paying homage to its culinary roots, the family is also fondly recognizing a history that was built on tireless struggles and breathtaking successes. That history is proudly displayed in the "Wall of History" exhibit—photographs, menus and ephemera from their seven decades on the Wharf. The exhibit, displayed in the restaurant’s entryway, chronicles the growth of the Wharf from a sleepy fishing village to an international tourist destination.

What grew to become an institution in San Francisco dining actually began as a fresh fish stall, founded in 1925 by Nunzio Alioto, Sr., a Sicilian immigrant. At the time, the Wharf consisted of an enormous lumber yard, train tracks, a union hall, canning plants and wholesale fisheries. At Stall #8, Nunzio sold lunchtime provisions to the Italian laborers. By 1928 he began selling simple luncheon items. Proving exceptionally popular were steamed crab, and shrimp and crab cocktails, which would be served on trays that could be attached to car windows--one of the earliest attempts at drive-in eating.

Business grew steadily as Nunzio catered to hungry shoppers at the Wharf. What eventually became known as "Alioto's innovation" was the conversion from old wood burning crab pots to gas burners. In 1932, he constructed the first building on Fisherman's Wharf--combining the fish stand with a seafood bar specializing in crab and shrimp cocktails, and steamed crab.

The plans Nunzio Alioto foresaw for his seafood enterprise on the Wharf came to an abrupt halt the following year. After suffering a bout of double pneumonia, Nunzio died suddenly at the age of 41, leaving behind a wife, Rose and three children. Strapped for a way to support her family, Rose took over the business becoming the first woman to work on the Wharf. Initially she was ostracized by her male neighbors, who refused to sell her fish. Luckily, the fish was procured by Phil Rubino, who had formerly worked with her husband.

Rose's children accompanied her to work everyday, and tended to every aspect of the business. This tradition continues today as the Alioto children begin their restaurant apprenticeship in their early teens.

A number of historical events contributed to the restaurant's phenomenal growth and the eventual establishment of Fisherman's Wharf. With the completion of both the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges in 1937, San Francisco was quickly becoming the urban center of Northern California.



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For more information on Italian Restaurant San Francisco /
Information about wines Please visit our Website : http://www.aliotos.com/



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Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:06 pm
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