Preservation Magazine, Spring 2016

Place Setting: Restaurants in Former Carriage Houses


photo by: Michael LT



8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069

323.655.6277 |

$$$$ | New American

Silent-movie star Harold Lloyd once stored his automobiles in a Spanish-style carriage house in West Hollywood, California. Though the main house on the property was later demolished, the carriage house remained, holding a number of businesses and restaurants throughout the 20th century.

In 1998, after a two-year vacancy, it reopened as Lucques. The exposed-brick walls, bow-and-truss beams, 7-foot-long hearth, and creeping fig–covered exterior appealed to the restaurant team, which was looking for a warm, inviting location. “When you walk in, you immediately feel
at home,” says longtime general manager Matt Duggan. “The bones are great.”

Acclaimed chef-owner Suzanne Goin and her team use seasonal farmers-market fare, which means the menu constantly changes. But the braised beef short ribs, a signature dish, are always available.
The Carriage House Cafe

photo by: Carriage House Cafe LLC

The Carriage House Cafe

Carriage House Cafe

305 Stewart Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850

607.645.0152 |

$$ | Bakery, Cafe

Before a tinsmith accidentally set it on fire in 1910, this Ithaca, New York, building served as a carriage house. The two-story 1860s structure was later used as a storage space and eventually sat vacant.

In the mid-1990s, Ithaca resident Mark Chandler began mapping his vision for restoring the stone and wood building. Working with local organization Historic Ithaca, he launched a full renovation. “It was mostly deteriorated,” he says. “We had to bring it back little by little.” With the help of more than 2,000 student volunteers over the years, Chandler saved as many of the carriage house’s original materials as possible, including the wooden beams, most of the windows, and all but one set of sliding doors.

It opened in 2004 as a family-run cafe with a hayloft event space. Chandler recommends the Brie-stuffed French toast and a cup of locally roasted coffee.

Update: The Carriage House Cafe closed in 2020.

The Castle Restaurant and Pub at Dunleith Historic Inn

photo by: Mark Coffey

The Castle Restaurant and Pub

The Castle Restaurant & Pub

84 Homochitto St., Natchez, MS 39120

601.446.8500 |

$$$ | Southern

After it was built in the 1790s, the carriage house at what is now the Dunleith Historic Inn in Natchez, Mississippi, housed purebred horses and elegant carriages. Designed to look like a castle, the brick outbuilding was constructed with 18-inch-thick walls and crenellations along the roof. It remained a carriage house and stables through the 1970s, and was then used as a woodworking shop and private residence. In 2000, it was converted into a restaurant with an English-style pub. During an extensive renovation in 2015, the original hand-cut cypress beams along the ceiling were exposed under layers of drywall.

Lunch and dinner at the restaurant come with a free tour of Dunleith’s 1856 main house, a National Historic Landmark. House favorites include the pork tenderloin and the Godchaux salad.

$ = Value, $10-19 per person

$$ = Moderate, $20-29 per person

$$$ = Expensive, $30-39 per person

$$$$ = Splurge, $40+ per person
Lauren Walser headshot

Lauren Walser served as the Los Angeles-based field editor of Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about art, architecture, and public space, and hopes to one day restore her very own Arts and Crafts-style bungalow.

Share your stories from Route 66! Whether a quirky roadside attraction, a treasured business, or a piece of family history, we are looking for your stories from this iconic highway.

Share Your Story