Sea Horse Inn (1965-1969), Italian seafood restaurant opened by Frank Balistrieri and Carl Passiglia. Infamous later, when owned by Lloyd Thompson, for promoting Chula Vista’s first topless burlesque entertainment.
Pariano’s Italian Village
In 1955, it opened as Pariano’s Italian Village, restaurant and cocktail lounge owned and operated by Nick & Helen Parianos and George & Vassiliki Xalis. They served steaks, chops, seafood and Italian dinners.
‘Watch for announcement of arrival,’ went their grand opening ad, ‘of chef Dallis, direct from Europe — famous for his dishes enjoyed by Royalty and other world dignitaries — at your service, SOON!’
Michael’s Famous Foods
After several years the business was bought by Estelle and Henry Goldy, who owned Michael’s Famous Foods in Lemon Grove, named for their son Michael Goldy. This new second location of Michael’s provided dancing, entertainment, and their Fiesta Special, an assorted Mexican dinner plate at ‘95¢ complete.’
The couple were members of the Yo-Ma-Co Club, ‘Young Married Couples,’ and Henry was a Shriner, well-known in the meat business. He became a restaurateur and bar owner for years, most conspicuously as the namesake (and silent partner with his son Michael Goldy) for Henry’s Pub at San Diego State University’s food concession, Monty’s Den. In 1978, Henry’s Pub was the first place to serve beer on campus. [Ed. note: I remember it well!]
Michael’s of Chula Vista
In 1959, the Goldys went into partnership with Jack Cruze, to form Crugo’s at Fourth and A Streets in downtown San Diego. Crugo’s was a portmanteau of the partners’ surnames CRUse and GOldy. He combined forces with the Goldys and their second location became Michael’s of Chula Vista.
The Chula Vista building was briefly leased to Charles Shaffer, until its owners, the Parianos and Xalis took over as Pariano’s once more.Sea Horse Inn
The Sea Horse Inn started innocuously enough in 1965 as Frank Balistrieri and Carl Passiglia’s seafood restaurant serving women’s group luncheons in its Dolphin Room, until it was gutted by a fire.
Lloyd E Thompson of Waldon-Pacific (also president of the San Diego Grocery Sales Club) remodeled the building in 1966 as Chula Vista’s ‘newest rock & roll club,’ serving Mexican food, steaks, sandwiches and cocktails. Sea Horse Inn was the first establishment in Chula Vista to offer topless entertainment, provided by ‘Lucky,’ a 23 year-old, go-go contortionist named Christina.
At first, her shows were at capacity. One female reporter noted that audiences, mostly male, vocally enjoyed Lucky’s shows. Those that brought their wives, not so much. Some women in the audience turned their backs to the performer.
From the onset, it provoked much controversy within the community, causing an outraged local Christian pastor to public denounce the practice and the dancer. The pastie-clad Lucky responded by reminding him that everything had been approved by Chula Vista Vice, that she ran a clean, tasteful, artistic show, and invited him to a luncheon performance.
His wife declined.
Business tapered off, and the neighborhood settled down when the Fraternal Order of Eagles bought the place in 1969.
1160 3rd Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91911