BAHA has recently published several photos of El Dumpo, a restaurant on Allston just above Shattuck in the 1940s and 1950s.
The front door was carved by Emil Janel, a Swede in San Francisco.
He was lauded as “the world’s greatest sculptor in wood.”
Chris Treadway published this El Dumpo ad.
Several matchbooks from El Dumpo are for sale online.
The menu on this matchbook is classic short-order fare. The postcard shown above of the interior promises “A dining establishment of dignity and refinement, serving only the finest of foods to discriminating patrons.” It is hard to reconcile these two descriptions of the food,but there is an answer from BAHA. “Dumpo moved to larger quarters in 1949, transforming itself from a coffee shop into a dinner-only restaurant.”
As a slang lexicographer, I am drawn to the mock/faux Spanish of “El Dumpo.” The Spanish would be tugurio.
Beyond that, it sounds like my kind of place, a piece of old weird Berkeley. I’d love to hear from anyone who perhaps ate there. What do you remember?
Just as I was about to show the draft mini post to my friend, he came in from his quarters and showed me this.
“Me and Earl wanted this more than anything in the whole world. We never got it.”
I expressed my sympathy and then asked for his opinion of the El Dumpo mini post.