Dear Friends and Patrons-
I'd like to take this moment to thank you for your support through the opening of our
restaurant and to also give a brief history about this house that you are dining in.
My Father, Aquilino Paul "Joe" Caratti, started the construction of this house in 1950. It was
originally intended to highlight his 200 tons of rocks and stones that he had gathered over several years, collecting stones was his hobby. Eventually the stone house was to become the family
home. The rocks were collected from all over the country, anywhere he knew he could find some good ones. In a News article from December 1955 he declared, "Rocks. No fishing or
hunting. You eat all the fish, I still got all the rocks."
My father was born near Lugano, Switzerland on September 12th, 1887. He came to America in 1906 after spending four
years in France, where he worked for a stone mason. This is where he perked his interest for masonry. One of my father's first jobs, when arrived in San Francisco, was to help clean the brick for
the Palace Hotel after the 1906 Earthquake and fires that ran through San Francisco.
My father came to Livermore in 1914, with his partner, Daro. They opened a delicatessen and bakery
where you could buy three donuts and a cup of coffee for 10 cents. In 1917, my father and uncle bought what was once the "Old Mexico" and named it "Club Joesville". In the same news
article as quoted above, my father spoke of prohibition, "We did a little bootlegging, but you don't have to put that in; everybody knows it." In 1918, my father and uncle were both drafted
into the Army and had to shut down the deli & bakery and "Club Joesville", until returning from nine months of military service. Throughout the 1920's my father purchased a great deal of
land throughout Livermore, he even gave land back to the state so they could widen old Highway 50 or Old Lincoln Highway (which is now Portola Avenue). Even when my father had "retired",
he still opened the grocery store every morning, (called Joesville Hotel, a twelve room hotel and grocery store across from the Rock House) managed his cabins and then went on to his rock collection.
My brother, Richard, and I ran the grocery store for him. It was more of a general store where anyone could buy groceries, ammunition, liquor, magazines, etc. We even had a bar where we sold beer
and the Santa Fe Continental Bus Line had a stop in front of the store.
When my father started to build the house here, he wanted it in a cross shape. Unfortunately he had passed away before
completing the house. It sat for several years before it was completed in 2001.
If you look at the shape of the house, it is now in a cross shape. When we were finishing up the rock work on the
"house", we brought most of the rocks from his home, where he had stashed them for several years.
His picture, with his Army uniform on, is mounted above the mantle of the original fireplace in
our fireside room. Most of the stone work in that area of the restaurant is the original. This is his dream house, finally completed for your enjoyment.
Again, I'd like to thank every friend
& patron that walks through the doors and into my house. As it was intended, this is a family restaurant. From every employee here - Thank You for your continued support!