Café meetings are held at Santa Fe Basque at 3110 N. Maroa Ave. From their website:
Begun in 1926, the Santa Fe Basque Restaurant originally served as a boarding house and tavern specifically for Basque immigrants who came to America from the “old country” (of what is current day Northern Spain and Southwestern France). The Basque hotels constituted a network of ethnic establishments along which Basque immigrants could enter and move about the United States with a maximum of protection and a minimum of culture shock.
As was the custom, the Santa Fe was built in the railroad station district of the town. Typically, the hotel is a two-story structure with plain but clean lodgings on the top floor, a combination of private rooms and small dormitories sleeping several men, while the ground floor consisted of a bar and a dining room where the boarders eat together at long tables.
Many of these Basques worked as shepherds. The hotel was also a base of operations for the Basque sheepman in town on business. Since it was opened, the Santa Fe has been involved in the business of helping clients earn a living. It is the focus of local employment information. Sheepmen in need of herders usually began the search here.
As with all things, change has come to the Santa Fe Basque Restaurant. After serving as the proprietors of the Santa Fe for over 11 years at it’s original location, the Santa Fe Hotel in downtown Fresno, we were forced to find a new home. After relocating our boarders to new homes, we relocated our 76 year old business to it’s present location. First built as the famous Casa Canales and later known as The Players, both well known in their time, it is our home for at least the next 76 years.
WE would like to express our gratitude to all of you who have supported us through the years and during our move. We have been very well received here and hope to serve you for a very long time. Sooooo remember………
Even today you can find retired (and active) “bascos” and our friends enjoying themselves at the Santa Fe Basque Restaurant!!!!!