During Prohibition, the San Mateo Coast was an ideal spot for rum running, bootleggers and "speakeasies," establishments which sold illegal booze to thirsty clients.
The Moss Beach Distillery as it appeared in its early days. Exterior view from the east (above), view from the west (below) and the ocean view dining room ready for guests (bottom).
One of the most successful speakeasies of the era was "Frank's Place" on the cliffs at Moss Beach. Built by Frank Torres in 1927, "Frank's" became a popular nightspot for silent film stars and politicians from the City. Mystery writer Dashiell Hammett frequented the place and used it as a setting for one of his detective stories.