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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Berkeley in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Spenger’s Fish Grotto

c. 1890

 

— City of Berkeley Landmark - Designated in 2001 —

 
Spenger’s Fish Grotto Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, January 26, 2012
1. Spenger’s Fish Grotto Marker
Inscription.  Clam chowder, baked beans and 10¢ beer – these and fish dinners drew crowds to fabled Spenger’s. It all began in the 1860s when Johann Spenger from Bavaria started fishing in the Bay. The gabled structure he built here housed his business and family. In the 1930s, son Frank opened a ground floor restaurant, gradually adding dining rooms and bars as the establishment’s popularity grew. Celebrities from Ernest Hemingway and Clack Gable to Jack Dempsey and Joe DiMaggio rubbed elbows with local families, dockworkers, Cal students, politicians and racetrack gamblers. The Spenger family sold the business in 1999.
 
Erected 2004 by Berkeley Historical Plaque Project.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1999.
 
Location. 37° 52.083′ N, 122° 17.993′ W. Marker is in Berkeley, California, in Alameda County. Marker is on 4th Street north of University Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1919 4th Street, Berkeley CA 94710, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
Spenger’s Fish Grotto Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, January 26, 2012
2. Spenger’s Fish Grotto Marker
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. Delaware Street Historic District (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Workingman’s Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bowen’s Inn/Higgins Grocery (approx. 0.2 miles away); 935 Hearst Avenue (approx. 0.3 miles away); Church of the Good Shepherd (approx. 0.3 miles away); Toveri Tupa – Finnish Hall (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fullen Market Building (approx. 0.6 miles away); American Photoplayer Co. (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley.
 
Additional commentary.
1. Spenger’s Fish Grotto
Spencer's Fish Grotto is permanently closed. The Centenary Plaque inside the building is no longer accessible.
    — Submitted September 12, 2020, by Diane Phillips of Pittsburg, California.
 
Spenger’s Fish Grotto image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, January 26, 2012
3. Spenger’s Fish Grotto
The marker is located under the green awning.
Spenger’s Fish Grotto image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, January 26, 2012
4. Spenger’s Fish Grotto
Spenger’s Fish Grotto - Restaurant Entrance image. Click for full size.
March 7, 2010
5. Spenger’s Fish Grotto - Restaurant Entrance
Spencer's Fish Grotto -- Centenary Plaque image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 27, 2016
6. Spencer's Fish Grotto -- Centenary Plaque
1890-1990
Johann Spenger leaves Bavaria to settle in Berkeley.
1890
Johan builds his home, one room country store and fish market at this site.
1930's
Frank, his wife Marcella and son Frank (Bud) expand to present day restaurant and fish market.
1990
Frank (Spanky), fourth generation of Spenger Family in America, continue family tradition through centenary year.
Ave Spenger! Coenaturi te salutamus!
Dedicated April 7, 1990
Joaquin Murrieta, Chapter 13
E Clampus Vitus


Plaque located inside the front entrance.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 6, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 1,643 times since then and 45 times this year. Last updated on February 6, 2012. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 6, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   5. submitted on March 1, 2012.   6. submitted on April 27, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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May. 22, 2022