Gold Mirror and the Di Grande Family
Gold Mirror Italian Restaurant has been a neighborhood gem for generations, and the Di Grande family is just one of many families that have grown up in these four walls and now proceed to show their children the old-school way of dining and socializing.
Established in 1940, Gold Mirror Cocktail Lounge was located on Fillmore Street, amidst jazz clubs and New Orleans style “juk joints”. In a neighborhood known for its music and style, Gold Mirror was one more establishment to provide the citizens of a growing San Francisco with a bit of fun, fashion, and time off from the daily grind. In 1953, Gold Mirror packed up its original doors, sign, and decorative bar mirrors, and made the leap across town to its current location at 800 Taraval Street, on the corner of 18th Avenue; Art Deco designs of the era intact.
The mirrors were eventually covered up with plain bar mirrors, but the doors and sign remained when, in 1969, Chef Giuseppe Di Grande purchased the restaurant and began to grow what would become the family favorite of the neighborhood and one of the finest dining experiences in San Francisco. Giuseppe and his wife Josephine raised their four children in the kitchen and dining room here, and now two of their sons, Domenico and Roberto Di Grande have taken over for their father in the kitchen, and, in true Italian tradition, welcome their children and their nephews in the kitchen and dining room as often as they want to be there.
On April 19, 2004 the restaurant was forced to close, and replace, its doors when a runaway delivery truck struck the front entrance. While the restaurant was under construction to repair the damage, the original bar mirrors from Fillmore Street were uncovered to reveal the origin of the name. One of these mirrors can still be seen behind the old cash register at the end of the hallway, featuring “Goldie” gazing into her golden mirror. Giuseppe had preserved the name with no knowledge of the art, and brought in an ornate golden framed mirror, which is still on prominent display in the dining room.
Gold Mirror Italian Restaurant remains a haven from the fast pace of everyday life, where the neighborhood goes take a time out and share classic cocktails and a great meal with friends and family.