Tuesday, 13 March 2012 19:51

Around the Plaza in the 1930's and 40's

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Original Mayflowe Cafe Original Mayflowe Cafe

The following two photographs are of the original Mayflower Cafe on the south side of the Plaza. This restaurant was opened by Tom and Peter Pomonis (both were immigrants from Greece) in 1932. As one can see Goodman's Men's store was directly to the west of the restaurant. Directly to the east was the Capital City Cafe owned by John Ligits. The original Mayflower was decorated with cafe curtains at each booth for privacy (drinking hootch during Prohibition?) After Prohibition was repealed my father, Tom, told me that the restaurant was issued Santa Fe liquor license # 1The Pomonis brothers expanded the Mayflower into the Capital City Cafe in 1939 converting the old Mayflower to a cocktail lounge of the same name (Mayflower.) My father Tom operated the restaurant alone after his brother Peter died in 1941. The restaurant was given a contract to feed the draftees during WW II. Two meals a day were served to 75-125 draftees daily. After the war My father brought in as partner a young veteran of WW II named Angelos Klonis (Angelo eventually opened the famous SF bistro "Evangelos.") The restaurant remained in business until 1954. I personally worked during the summer months and holidays at the restaurant from the time I was 12 years of age where I peeled potatoes, scrubbed pots and pans, washed dishes, bused dishes, short order cook, waiter and cashier until 1953.

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George Pomonis

Born in Santa Fe in the early 1930's. Second child of three born to Tom Pomonis and Helen (Vorres) Pomonis. Parents immigrants from Greece. I am a graduate of the Santa Fe Public School System having attended Wood-Gormely, Harrington Jr. Hi and graduating from SF High School in 1950. I am a retired organic chemist. I was employed by the Denver Research Institute (1957-58), Lasdon Foundation Research Institute for Chemotherapy as a research chemist (1958-63), Geigy Pharmaceutical Co. as research chemist (1963-65), and Bioscience Research Laboratory ARS/USDA as a senior scientist 1965-97.) I served in the US Army 1956-57. I spent a 1 year sabbatical in Athens, Greece at the Demokritos Research Institute.

5 comments

  • Comment Link Kathy Capron Tully Wednesday, 28 March 2012 23:50 posted by Kathy Capron Tully

    wonderful history George...thanks! I want to add that I THINK the bar in the wonderful movie Crazy Heart is Evangelos? Let me know if I am correct...sure looks like it. What amazing contributions you all made to our wonderful City Different.

  • Comment Link Kent G. Hansen Wednesday, 14 March 2012 19:10 posted by Kent G. Hansen

    Nice, I think our website is starting to go. I am still trying to get the hang of it but am slowly getting there.

  • Comment Link Maria Montez-Skolnik Wednesday, 14 March 2012 01:36 posted by Maria Montez-Skolnik

    Your photos and your personal history add richness to the story of our Santa Fé. Gracias como siempre, George.

  • Comment Link Jim Baca Tuesday, 13 March 2012 21:41 posted by Jim Baca

    Another example of the cultural richness that IS Santa Fe!

  • Comment Link Mike Lord Tuesday, 13 March 2012 21:08 posted by Mike Lord

    Fantastic, George! The article is wonderful, the photos are great and the website works perfectly. ¡Muchisimas gracias!

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