1/5/13

PALAISLEL UNION RESTAURANT


In keeping with this weeks theme image at Sepia Saturday I give you some patrons and staff at an old restaurant. These folks do not appear to be having the same level of fun as in the Sepia image, perhaps because the alcohol is not yet flowing.



I have no idea where this restaurant stood, I'm not even sure of its name. It appears to be Palaislel Union with Cosmopolitan Exchange next door. I have not been able to find anything about the restaurant or the exchange. I can say the image was purchased in Eureka, California.

They are an interesting mix of characters. The fellow with the crease looks like he might have been a butcher, but no, that is just damage to the image running down his white robe, not blood. And the fellow to the left of him looks like he might have been just as comfortable on a riverboat as on shore. I think the fellow on the right, second in, is probably looking at the lads in the Sepia image and wondering how he can get there.


Click on either image to see them larger.

22 comments:

  1. Felix091/05/2013

    What a neat photo! It looks like it might be about 1890, give or take a few dog years. A couple of the guys are sporting mutton chops [facial hair], and I wonder if the guys in aprons have had them washed since then. I hope the little girl received a treat of some sort.

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    1. Let's hope it wasn't dysentery.

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  2. My first thought was San Francisco. The architecture certainly looks like what you find in San Francisco, especially in the Mission District & in Eureka too. I was wondering if it might be palais de l'union - Palace of the Union and situated near Union Square.

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    1. I thought of SF too and Eureka in old town area. I've never found anything about it. I'd certainly love to know because there's a story there.

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  3. Very nice picture, it would be nice to more about it. The little child on the left (must have moved when the photo was shot) but the outfit is really nice!

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  4. I did some checking & I'm wondering if this could be the Sawtelle Building, later known as Jim Dunn's Cosmopolitan @ 301-305 2nd St., in Eureka. The description I found said early photos (of which I couldn't find any) show a cast-iron front which has been largely removed or covered over. Could that be what all that beautiful dark trim is?

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    1. I really don't know. Next time I'm in Eureka I'll do some asking around to see if anyone knows anything. I'll take the photo along to the historical society.

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  5. A great old picture and a perfect example can take such a thing and add layer upon layer of interest and information.

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  6. I wonder if this is the family of the owners plus employees. It's an interesting photo to study.

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  7. A wonderful occupational photo. The characters look like the real life models for those novelty painted statues of chefs and waiters. I can just see them now rushing through doors with great trays of food and spirits!

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    1. You are right! I knew they were reminding me of something and that's it.

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  8. Next time you're in Eureka, go south ten miles to Ferndale. It's been a long time since I've been in the area, but it sure looks like downtown Ferndale to me.

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    1. Indeed, it could be in Ferndale too. It could also be Petaluma. There are so many locations in the state that had or still have buildings like this. If it was in SF it probably burned down following the '06 quake. It's a shame no history is left.

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  9. I would venture the chef, the sous-chef, the sommelier, and that last one does soups/sauces or pastries. The rest could be regular patrons of the place. Looks nice btw.
    Let us know if you should ever find the place.
    Happy New Year!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  10. I enjoy photos like this - all the different "characters" related to a place. Let us know if you find out more!

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    1. Me too. It's always fun to be able to put people into some sort of context other than just posing for a shot. When they're in a particular environment we get to experience a bit of the past and let our imaginations run wild.

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  11. The Cosmopolitan Exchange is listed in San Francisco directories with E. Belleau proprietor around 1856-1860's. Unfortunately I can't make out an understandable address.

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    1. This alone is huge! To have possibly provided some location information for this shot is great. I had hoped it was in San Francisco, but if so it would be long gone having most likely been destroyed following the quake in '06.

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  12. That is a motley looking crew, they do seem a bit somber! I also thought it looked like San Francisco.

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  13. Great photos. Nice that you have been able to locate this spot somewhat.

    Thank you for clarifying that crease in the image. I wouldn't like to think that was blood.

    Kat

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    1. When I first looked at the photo in the antique store I thought, "Oh my, that's a lot of blood." I was really happy to find it wasn't. And a friend has given me a very nice fancy loupe I will henceforth be taking on all of my searches.

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  14. Sorry I'm so late in commenting. The picture makes you want to find out more and you now seem to have a lot to follow up and some places to visit. Good hunting!

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