After eight years now, our guests have learned to love and hate one thing: the 'journey' finding our steakhouse. We are notorious for being a difficult restaurant to discover, yet we take pride in keeping our establishment a hidden gem. Although many first time diners may find themselves roaming around the infamous hallway in the Third Avenue Center, there is quite a history to be told on the pathway to PorterHouse.
PorterHouse is tucked away in the building that housed the former San Mateo Theater. The movie palace cost roughly $250,000 to complete in 1926. The San Mateo Theater was part of a large development project orchestrated by D.A. or 'Doc' Raybould. To make room for the new Theater, Third Avenue was given an 80-foot width in 1924, allowing for diagonal parking and making it the widest business street on the Peninsula.
Fox West Coast quickly bought the San Mateo Theater's lease and soon afterwards purchased the building. The theater improved considerably with the addition of motion pictures with sound. In the spring of 1933, a fire ravaged the theater; hence the San Mateo Theater closed for repairs for two years. The theater reopened on Christmas day of 1935.
For 50 years, the 1400 seat San Mateo Theater brought entertainment and life to the community of San Mateo. The handsome white theater building opened with some of the great names of silent films. Talking pictures later appeared and then black and white changed to color. Finally, after a great and glorious reign, the era of the glamorous movie palace gave away to television.
In 1975, plans were being made to transfer the old San Mateo Theater into 'Mateo Square,' a contemporary shopping plaza. The new Mateo Square consisted of 21 arcade shops, an excellent continental restaurant, a terrace restaurant, a coffee shop, and ten luxurious penthouse offices. The primary goal for the Mateo Square was to become the shopping, dining, and office center of the entire Peninsula.
Today, the Third Avenue Center is dominated by local start-up companies. You will also discover a couple of shops, small offices, and of course our steakhouse: PorterHouse.