Can you help ID this West County/East Bay mystery photo?

west county german beer hall mystery photo


At the March 9 centennial talk on El Cerrito’s history of gambling and vice — held at the former Wagon Wheel gambling house and nightclub — a woman brought in the above photo, wondering if anyone could identify the location or any of the people pictured. Since there are so many longtime residents, as well as history buffs out there, we promised we would post the photo and report any results. It may be from West County, or from somewhere else in the East Bay.

One person, Victor Volpi, has been identified with a notation on the photo.

Other than that we know little except that the mural in the back has German lettering and beer is the preferred beverage — and judging from the dress, it was after World War II.

This is from our resident language expert regarding the lettering in the mural:

I think it’s the second half of a proverb or saying:

“Wer nicht kann Spaß verstehen, Soll nicht unter die Leute gehen.”
[= roughly: (S)He who can’t understand fun (or today, we might say, who can’t take a joke) should not go amongst the people. Or more liberally translated: if you’re a stick-in-the-mud, just stay home.]
With “Willkommen” (=Welcome) on the line above.


If you have any information or guesses about the photo contact us in the comments or at ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com.


Chris Treadway