Gilroy Today 2011 06 Summer - Page 35

Top Left : Hotel Milias ( looking north up Main ( Monterey ) Street , 1928 Immediate Left : Hotel Milias taken from Old City Hall , circa 1925 Above : Lewis Hotel & Café , circa 1921
Immediate Right : Lewis Café ( l-r ) Mitch Milias , a Cupich relative , Peter Cupich , Louis Capich ( others unidentified , date unkown .
Bottom Right : Joyce Poulson , the granddaughter of Peter Cupich provided photo of the Cupich brothers : Peter , Nick , Louis and fourth unidentified brother .
establishment opened on July 8 , 1922 . A festive dinner welcomed 1,000 guests , who dined both downstairs and in the top floor Sun Roof . Dance music followed , provided by a brass band and two orchestras .
The Milias family enjoyed local popularity spanning several generations . Mr . and Mrs . George Milias Sr . lived in a private second floor apartment on the premises . Later , their son , George C . Milias , not only ran the hotel for many years , but also served multiple terms as Gilroy Mayor ( 1940-54 and 1956-58 .) His son , George W . Milias , went on to serve our district as State Assemblyman .
Known simply and affectionately for most of its life as “ The Milias ,” ( except for the years it was renamed “ Harvest Time ” under new ownership ,) the restaurant remained for decades an anchor in Gilroy ’ s downtown district . The popular lunchtime menu was a favorite with local businessmen and shoppers , while the unique , cowboy-motif horseshoe cocktail lounge and adjoining , spacious dining room served generations of locals and visitors . The old eatery , closed for several years , is scheduled to reenter the Gilroy scene under new ownership this spring , once again bearing its original name , The Milias .
Not to be forgotten , of course are the many stories of the rich and famous that once lent their presence to The Milias . Among them , comedian-humorist Will Rogers dined and spent the night in 1934 , and actor Clark Gable stopped by for dinner with an unidentified blonde on two occasions , a week apart , in 1945 .
Professional writer Elizabeth Barratt ’ s columns and feature articles have appeared regularly in Central Coast publications for the past 30 years . A fourth-generation Gilroyan , she is descended from the pioneer Chesbro family . Her volume , “ Images of America : Carmel Valley ” was published by Arcadia Press in January 2010 .
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