The building pictured here as the Plaza Saloon is most widely known today as the former Tsuda Grocery. Throughout the history of Auburn, it has been many things.
In 1859 this building was a cigar and confectionery store owned by Isadore Davidson and Tobias Jones. In 1866 Anton and Eliza Adrian owned the Auburn Restaurant next door and opened a lodging house here. In 1887 it was opened by Lee and Watters as the Arcade Saloon which served ice-cold sharp beer and imported wine.
In 1894 the Leary brothers opened the Plaza Saloon and Lunch House. From 1894-1926 it was owned by William Christy, Olsen Christiansen, and Ole Hesbol.
In 1926 the local Japanese community bought the building and operated a Buddhist Church.
The Church had been established in 1915 but this was its first building. In 1928 the Auburn Buddhists Church Association had 45 members, M. Takashege was the president and K. Tsuda was secretary.
Katsuichi “George” Tsuda had had originally opened the Tsuda General Merchandise Store at 135 Sacramento Street in 1918.
The Tsuda family ran the store until World War II, when the family, like all local citizens of Japanese ancestry, were sent to internment camps.
In a 2004 oral history interview, Katsuichi Tsuda’s son Frank recounted how the family was imprisoned for four years and was moved to three different camps. When the war ended and Japanese American families were released not all of the families that had once lived in Auburn returned, and the Buddhist Church could not keep going.
The Tsuda family purchased the building in 1951 and reopened their grocery business here. The family ran the Tsuda Grocery until 2007.