#CelebrateImmigrants feat. Vanessa Garcia
June not only heralds the beginning of summer--it also marks an important celebration that we, at 7 Mile House, continue to be a part of: Immigrant Heritage Month.
This month, we’re focusing on the immigrant roots of 7 Mile House. As part of FWD.us’s “I Stand With Immigrants” initiative, we want to shine a light on the many aspects and contributions immigrants have made in our community.
7 Mile House’s original owners in the mid-1800s were immigrants from Italy. Over 160 years later, another immigrant is tasked to safeguard a piece of American history while promoting Filipino culture and heritage--our owner, Vanessa Garcia.
Originally raised in the Philippines, Garcia started her career as a professional drummer of a Philippine-based all-female pop band. Realizing this wouldn’t be a long-term career path, she moved to the United States when she was 22 to start her graduate studies. In 2004, she purchased 7 Mile House and the rest, as they say, was history.
Despite having more Filipinos living in the country, only a few knew about their food and culture. This frustration, later on, led Garcia to be one of the first pioneers of the Filipino food movement in the Bay Area. Today, sisig (pig cheeks on a sizzling plate) is among the restaurant’s most popular dishes, along with lumpia, adobo, and salpicao.
7 Mile House has won numerous awards under Garcia’s leadership. The last original mile house is recognized for its food, ambiance, live music, dog-friendliness, among others. She also published an award-winning book on American history, which focuses on the stories of mile houses in the Bay area.
This year’s theme focuses around “Home” and the ways immigrants have crafted what it means in their experience. The bar and restaurant has seen its share of stories around home-coming and going and we’re proud to preserve its history.
Immigrants like Garcia continue to write stories of success and inspiration in different parts of the world. With their passion, heart, and hard work, immigrants contribute in creating a better and more beautiful world.
Got a story to share? Let us know in the comments below!