The graduation class from Nellie Coffman Junior High celebrated its promotion to Palm Springs High School at Harry’s Cafe, one of the most popular early restaurants in downtown area, on May 21, 1940.
Harry’s Café was a very popular pool hall and restaurant located on Palm Canyon Drive. Later that site was home to Ruby’s Dunes, which was frequented by Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack during the late 1940s,’50s and ‘60s. Today, the location is occupied by the Hair of the Dog Saloon.
Harry Mutascio of Harry's Café and his family arrived in Palm Springs in 1922 from Genoa, Italy. Mutascio saved enough money to buy six pool tables at $5 each and then opened his pool hall. He charged 5 cents per game. His wife, Josephine, was well known for her great Italian recipes and after a few years they expanded the pool hall to include a café. Locals loved celebrating personal and community events at Harry’s Café.
Included among the graduates on that day in 1940 was Bill Foster, who served as mayor of Palm Springs from 1974-77.
There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 75 in 2013.
One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.
The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a weekly story whose time and place corresponds with today.
The Palm Springs Historical Society is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. Visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org for more information.