Santa Rosa author revisits local cafe history in novel ’Classic Grill’

31 July 2020

Photo courtesy of the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum

In some families, elders tell their grandchildren fairy tales or share children’s classics, but Nancy Econome and her little sister grew up on stories about the restaurant business.

During the first half of the 20th century, various members of her Greek immigrant family ran restaurants in Santa Rosa, Vallejo and Napa, all called The Classic Grill.

“My grandparents didn’t know how to read us stories in English, so they shared their reminiscences,” the Santa Rosa writer recalled of her childhood in Sacramento.

While her grandfather ran the Classic Grill in Vallejo, her great-uncle operated the downtown Santa Rosa version, which stood on Fourth Street, near where the Santa Rosa Plaza shopping center is now. She set her debut novel “The Classic Grill” in Vallejo during World War II but drew details from both locations.

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