Founded nearly 80 years ago by a group of San Francisco restaurateurs

GGRA was founded in 1936 by a group of San Francisco restaurateurs who recognized the need for an organization to speak on behalf of the local restaurant industry. It was an instant success: by early 1937, the organization grew so large it incorporated, passed by-laws, and elected officers.

Early issues GGRA addressed included racketeering and collective labor agreements — even the impact of food rationing during World War II. Over time, GGRA moved into marketing, producing the annual Dining Guide & and Purchasing Guide, and education, by establishing a scholarship foundation. GGRA made group purchases of insurance and worker’s compensation, before those laws made it difficult for associations to do so. And of course, GGRA brought the concerns of its members to legislators while keeping its members abreast of industry-related issues.

GGRA is still here because we all face many of the same challenges the founders did 81 years ago. In fact, some of San Francisco ‘s oldest and most successful restaurants are lifetime members of GGRA! We have photos of four cornerstone members: Fisherman’s Grotto in 1948, Alioto’s in 1950, the Cliff House in 1950, and Tarantino’s in 1951.

In 1968, Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation (GGRASF) was founded. Every year the Trustees award tuition scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. We also give special awards in honor of industry role models David Rubenstein, General Counsel for GGRA from 1938-1968, and Robert Grison, co-founder and first President of GGRA.

President’s List

  • 1938-1946 Robert Grison, Grison’s Steak House
  • 1946-1948 Carl Franz, Townsend’s
  • 1948-1950 Malcolm Stewart, Manning’s
  • 1950-1951 Ralph Moody, B/G Foods
  • 1951-1953 Gus Cafeals, C & R Coffee Shop
  • 1953-1955 George Casten, Thirty Geary Restaurant
  • 1955-1956 Louis Rocca, Original Joe’s
  • 1956-1957 George Olsen, Foster Lunch Systems
  • 1957-1959 William Kabeary, The Town House
  • 1959-1961 Bob Campbell, Bob’s Restaurant
  • 1961-1963 Arthur Zimmerman, Zim’s Restaurant
  • 1963-1965 Williard Houghton, Manning’s
  • 1965-1966 Richard Bronson, Duchess, Inc.
  • 1966-1968 Gary Nachmann, Lyon ‘s
  • 1968-1971 Don Dianda, Doro’s
  • 1971-1973 Al Pollack, The Main Stem
  • 1973-1975 Roland Gotti, Ernie’s
  • 1975-1977 SJ Monro, Pam Pam East
  • 1977-1979 Harry Meharry, Miz. Brown’s
  • 1979-1981 Haig Mardikian, Omar Khayyam’s
  • 1981-1983 Rolf Lewis, Rolf’s Since 1960
  • 1983-1985 Al Petri, Alfred’s
  • 1985-1986 John Kukulica, The Iron Horse
  • 1986-1988 Colleen Meharry, Miz Brown’s Inc.
  • 1988-1990 Marvin Israel, The Carnelian Room
  • 1990-1992 Helen Hobbs, Tia Margarita
  • 1992-1994 Al Falchi, The Waterfront
  • 1994-1996 Paul Lazzareschi, Bardelli’s Restaurant
  • 1996-1997 Gianni Fassio, Palio d’Asti
  • 1997-2000 Kevin Westlye, Franciscan Restaurant
  • 2000-2002 Kathleen Harrington, Harrington’s Bar & Grill
  • 2002-2004 Mariann Costello, Scoma’s Restaurant
  • 2004-2005 Ken Zankel, The Grove
  • 2006-2007 Glenn Meyers, High Flying Foods, Inc.
  • 2008-2009 Daniel Scherotter, Palio d’ Asti
  • 2010-2011 Laurie Thomas, Nice Ventures
  • 2012-2014 Pete Sittnick, Pat Kuleto Restaurants
  • 2015- 2016 Todd Parent, Extreme Pizza
  • 2017 – Scott Roderick, M.Y. China