Holly Hart is the owner of Old Wives Tales restaurant on East Burnside in Portland. She was born in Chicago in 1947 and grew up there before moving to Portland to attend Reed College in 1964, where she was highly active in protests against the Vietnamese War. Her identity as a lesbian became apparent around this time, and following graduation at Reed, she entered a period of intensive gay rights activism. Suffering burnout, she regressed from these activities before returning to them upon attending the law school at the University of California Berkeley from 1972 to 1975. Some time around 1978, Hart was on a panel commissioned by Oregon Governor Bob Straub to compile a report for the "Task Force on Sexual Preference". Upon the failure of the Mt. Moving Café, which Hart frequented during its brief run, she started Old Wives Tales, with an emphasis on multi-ethnic vegetarian cuisine.