A classic Gilroy restaurant is about to rise again. Milias Chophouse restaurant opened in downtown Gilroy in 1885. It was rebuilt nearby and opened in its present location in 1922 on Monterey Street as the Milias Hotel and Restaurant. The steakhouse was a popular stopover for movie stars traveling between San Francisco and the Monterey peninsula. John Wayne, Clark Gable, Will Rogers and others dined there back in the days before Highway 101 was built, and there was just the Monterey Highway. For locals, it was a classy but unpretentious place to go out to eat that they called the “hotel.”
Since then, ownership of the restaurant changed, and it was last known as Harvest Time for years before closing three years ago. Now, new owners busy are restoring the restaurant to its former glory, complete with marble floors, a 23-seat horseshoe bar and chandeliers. They plan to open late next month under the name Milias Restaurant.
Adam Sanchez and Ann Zyburra, first-time restaurateurs, are opening the restaurant with the help of local consulting chef Jess Ledesma of the Koa Restaurant Group.
Sanchez, who once owned the Al Sanchez VW and Mazda dealership in Gilroy, looks to classic San Francisco restaurants and bars like the Tadich Grill and Tosca for inspiration—and to the history of the restaurant itself. He says he doesn’t want to remodel the restaurant so much as bring it back to the way it was.
“This place has been a Gilroy staple for years,” he says. “We’re trying to revive that feel,” a feel he describes as “cowboys and chandeliers.”
While the restaurant will once again serve steaks and chops, Ledesma and newly hired chef John Struvi will showcase a more international menu of small plates and appetizers. “People won’t get just steak and potatoes,” Ledesma says.
Unlike the old restaurant, the new Milias will source some of its produce from a nearby garden the will grow dozens of varieties of garlic.
Ledesma and Sanchez have high hopes. “It’s going to be something really unique for Gilroy,” says Ledesma. “It’s going to be the anchor of downtown.”
Unlike the Milias Restaurant of old, the new place has a website: www.themiliasrestaurant.com.