Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Pegasus

One of the more interesting "not here anymore" places at the Port -- the Pegasus Restaurant -- opened in 1962 on El Embarcardero, just down the street from the former location of the Port's administration building.

The restaurant was located in a $215,000 structure that also housed the wharfinger's office, the security office and space for the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs, and unlike those offices, the Pegasus featured lingerie-clad waitresses serving beer at 5 in the morning.

We only could find one real reference to the Pegasus online, which was a post by Nancy Ellison on a blog called "One for the Table" that offers a taste of the Pegasus' atmosphere in later years:
"The smell of cigarettes and beer was the first aroma that greeted me as I entered the plate glass windowed 1950’s style roadside cafĂ© in the heart of the docks.  The neon lights and lit beer signs offered an odd, alien contrast against the warm glow of the rising sun which rose behind the oil pumps on the road coming in. "

You can read the rest of that article -- which features a great interior photo of the restaurant -- here.

Photos of the Pegasus in the Port archives are pretty scarce; we'd love to see more of the interior and hear some stories, so if you have any memories or photos please share them with us.

The restaurant closed sometime around 1993, and the building is gone now; the property is part of the ongoing Middle Harbor development.

Click here for more photos.


Unknown said...

I used to frequent the Pegasus back in the late 1970s when I occasionally worked the banana boat unloading docks. The place was very lively, LOUD but interesting. The food was reasonably priced and would fill you up and the cold beer kept flowing too. I passed this link on to others and ALL want to tell me about Joe Biffs over near the tuna canneries. Yes I frequented there too. What an era.. Glad those 'good times' have passed a bit- my kidneys and overworked liver needed a rest (LOL)

Thanks for the memories..

pegasuscafe said...

I'm a radio producer doing some research about the Pegasus Cafe. If you read this, would you mind dropping me a line? Same goes for anyone with memories about the Pegasus.

pegasuscafelb AT gmail DOT com



Portia Lee said...

My Grandmother, Dorothy Duppman, opened the Pegasus in 1962. My mom helped as a waitress while she was pregnant with me. Even after my parents divorce, my sister and I spent a lot of time there sitting at the counter eating our ice cream and talking to the patrons. Afterwards, we would go feed the seals, then back to the restaurant for hot chocolate before going home. I have wonderful memories of spending time with my family and all the excitement that filled the Pegasus.

Chris Ramirez said...

I worked in the Oilfield and spent a lot of time on the Shell Beta platform in the early 80s. We would catch the boat at the docks and ride out to the Shell Platform. I spent many a day and many a dollar at the Pegasus as a young, wild and fun loving service hand. I still tell stories of the waitresses and their "uniforms" (lingerie) from that time period. I was a great tipper and I don't know what that one guy was talking about saying the waitresses were all old. There were some beautiful young women that worked there too and I made it my personal mission to get to know them. Honest girls, making a living amongst the dock and oil field workers ,along with the many truck drivers. I had nothing but really fond memories that a young man, wouldn't make up. So unless you worked in the vicinity at the time, you could not appreciate the value of such a place. The Pegasus will hold a special place in my heart and my memories forever.

Ed Lawrence said...

I was beginning to think I'd imagined the place. Ate there a couple of times in 1989 while visiting the port on business. Still have a business card. Sorry that it's apparently gone now. I'd never been in an establishment quite like that before and was pretty amazed, young and impressionable as I was then.
I think I'd still be impressed today ...

Pauline said...

I too spent my lunch time there in the 70's since I worked for the Army Outport that was very close to the restaurant.