There's no better place on display in downtown Bakersfield than at the Guild House. They’ve been serving up great food for a great cause for 50 years.
Shirley Zimmerman, has been with the guild house for 7 years, and she helps with the operations at the guild house.
Zimmerman, who is the Guild House President, said, "Everybody is a volunteer, there is nobody paid, there is over 200 volunteers, cooks bakers, wait staff, dish washers; all here for one purpose—providing you a memorable meal—while giving back to a non-profit making a difference in the community."
The Guild dates back to 1958, founded with the sole purpose, to benefit the Henrietta Weil Children’s Clinic.
The clinic provides outpatient mental health services and counseling to children and families in Kern County.
Every year, the Guild raises more than $40,000 for the clinic.
Zimmerman gave 23ABC's Tim Calahan a tour of the house — built in 1909 — for the Barlow family. Charles Barlow, a prominent geologist — spared no expense at the time.
”The fireplace is from the Gumps in San Francisco. carved with blue tile and is original to the house,” Zimmerman said.
Also — beveled windows, original mahogany woodwork, and Tiffany carnival glass and chandelier’s.
And that’s just the main level. Like most 100 year old homes, there are nook’s and crannies, passages, and the basement, the basement is awesome.
Every square inch is used to support the restaurant operation that averages between 50 and 100 customers every day. And keeping up with that demand, means getting creative.
“The doors get opened every Wednesday, and our deliveries come down a shoot," Zimmerman said.
The daily grind of a restaurant—supported by volunteers willing to give years of their life to the guild.
”If somebody’s been here for 50 years, volunteering 40 years or even 30 years; knowing that volunteers are not paid, when you put that kind of dedication in a place, you know there’s a love for it.”
That sense of selflessness, on display with the first person who greets you at the Guild House.
Walterine Head has been volunteering for 28 years.
“It’s part of something that is doing something good for the community," Head said. "I always say I get more out of it, than I give.”