Henry's Hi-Life, once known as the Torino Hotel, was opened in|
1960 by Henry Puckett (1914-1986). Originally a boarding house for
dozens of newly immigrated Italian workers, the building was first
named the New Progress Hotel.
Charles Sacco, a cook, was the owner of the New Progress Hotel,
moving the existing structure to this site after the 1906 earthquake
and adding a six room, two-story addition in 1908. The architectural
style and building materials used in construction are typical of
buildings originally built in the 1880's.
The business changed hands in 1914 and was re-named the Torino
Hotel. Owner Bartolomeo Vinassa, who immigrated to San Jose in
1903 and operated a nearby hotel, moved his business into this
structure. Early directories list the address as the northwest corner
of San Augustine and Pleasant Street, or 301 San Augustine Street.
The Torino Hotel, operated by Bartolomeo and Caroline Vinassa,
was widely known for serving generous portions of Italian food and
providing fellowship for immigrant workers. A bocce ball court was
located just north of the hotel.
Henry Puckett acquired the abandoned hotel in 1960 and restored
the building, adding a bar that was built in 1933 and salvaged from
an old San Francisco hotel. Doris Puckett, Henry's widow carried
on the tradition of Henry's Hi-Life by serving great food and
supporting good times for nearly five decades.
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE CHAPTER NO.1850|
E CLAMPUS VITUS
DEDICATED ON NOVEMBER 11, 2008
"RIGHT WRONGS NOBODY"