Monterey, California: Historic Cannery Row and John Steinbeck Walking Tour
Austino’s / La Ida’s Brothel
Up ahead on your right is a mustard colored stucco building with a Spanish tile roof over the front door. Stop here for a moment out in front.
This was once La Ida’s brothel. At the time of recording this is the home of Austino’s Patisserie. If the walls could talk, what a story they would tell but you'll have to settle for mine.
In the mid 1930’s, La Ida’s brothel was operated by Edith Luciani out of this building. Edith managed the downstairs as a restaurant, bar and kitchen. She ran her brothel out of the five upstairs bedrooms. La Ida’s closed in 1941 when the California attorney general, Earl Warren, closed all of the known brothels in the state.
From 1958 to 2007 this was the location of Kalisa’s restaurant. Run by Kalisa Moore, who was called the Queen of Cannery Row, her restaurant kept the memory of La Ida’s alive. Moore’s restaurant was frequented by celebrities such as Clint and Maggie Eastwood, as well as Kim Novak and Dizzy Gillespie.
John Steinbeck wrote of La Ida’s in his novel Cannery Row. He made no attempt to fictionalize it, using the real name and placing it exactly where it was located next to Wing Chong’s Market, our next destination.
Continue walking to the building next door.