St. Michael's Alley was founded in 1959 by Vernon Gates. It was the first coffee house on the peninsula and was named for the the alley in London which is home to its first coffeehouse, founded in 1652. St. Mike's bohemian atmosphere attracted many from the beatnick era and helped launch the careers of famous musicians and writers including the Grateful Dead, Joan Baez, Grayce Slick, Ken Kesey, Robert Hunter, and Jefferson Airplane. Vernon retired in 1994 and sold the restaurant to the current owners, Jenny Youll and Mike Sabina.
The original brasserie is still open for weekend brunch and private functions. A new location, one block away, was opened in March 2009 at 140 Homer Ave. This larger space has a separate full bar, outdoor seating, and an intimate dining room. Jenny and Mike spent 3 years designing and building the new St. Mike's, with Mike acting as draftsman, architect, engineer, general contractor and carpenter.
There was an endless stream of friends and relatives who came from around the country to help us with the seemingly endless project.