3 generations of women serve Filipino fare inside a 164-year-old mile house

ByVictoria Vallecorse Localish logo
Monday, April 11, 2022
3 generations of women run the historic '7 Mile House'
3 generations of women share Filipino cuisine with a side of Bay Area history.3 generations of women carry on the history of a century-old mile house with Filipino food, furry friends, and fun.

BRISBANE, Calif. -- Most restaurants and bars become busy around happy hour, but not 7 Mile House. Pick a random day or time, and you're sure to see the 164-year-old establishment packed with patrons ordering adobo sizzling plates and mango margaritas.

"We used to be a stagecoach stop, established during the Gold Rush," explained owner Vanessa Garcia. "Mile houses were located at every mile from San Francisco to San Jose, and we're the seventh one, the last one left standing in the original location."

From prohibition to pandemic, 7 Mile House stands strong as a popular place to bring friends, family, and furry companions for fun on the SF Peninsula. Garcia, her mother Mama Cleo, and her daughter Visadora make sure guests get their fill of Bay Area history while creating a new legacy.

"I've owned 7 Mile House since 2004, my mom's the pastry chef, and my daughter, who's been working here since she was 14, is now a bartender and a manager," said Garcia. "Where do you see a restaurant or any business establishment that has three generations of women, minority women at that, working at one establishment."

The trio, along with their family pup Periwinkle, creates a welcoming atmosphere where everyone (both two and four-legged!) feels like family.

On the menu, you'll find their time-honored adobo and ube recipes along with new creative iterations to taste. All in the name of sharing Filipino culture with the community.

"I wanted to bring the Philippines here to 7 Mile House," said Garcia. "When we just opened, not a lot of people knew about Filipino food and drinks, and it was just really a quest for us to introduce it to the community."

Popular drinks include the artful Mango Margarita, a whipped cream-topped Ube Colada, and the flower-garnished Calamansi Drop. Choose from an array of food options, including an adobo sizzling plate with rice, pulled pork adobo sandwich, and three different types of lumpia. And for dessert: Mama Cleo's decadent Ube Cheesecake.

"It's so lovely to work with your family because the foundation that you taught them is embedded in them and they carry on," said Mama Cleo.

Garcia's daughter, Visadora Villacarlos plans to carry on family traditions and Bay Area community-building as a future owner.

"The community that she's (Garcia) built here has really inspired me to want to take it over and to want to continue her legacy," said Villacarlos.

For more information, visit here, and follow @7milehouse on Instagram.