Over the last couple of months we’ve been hearing rumors that a new café experience was coming to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House. Well, we can now happily say that those rumors are true – a grab ‘n go eatery opened this past July.
For years, people have hoped that something along these lines might unfold. The Martin House is the perfect scenario for a coffee house experience. These types of historic architectural destinations often times feature a place where visitors can sit and relax, while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, not to mention something to eat. Plus, can you imagine the setting for this café, with vantage points onto the historic grounds (with fully restored landscape gardens) and architectural masterpieces?
The Statler Café has reinvigorated the space and is located in a park-like setting on the north side of the estate, adjacent to the Barton House and Pergola.
In order to get The Statler Café up and running, a non-Wright designed carriage house was renovated to accommodate the café amenity, which will serve visitors to the grounds and neighbors. Inside the carriage house, the spot where the old carriage turntable is clearly delineated, offering a glance into the past. The café offerings include “grab ‘n go” sandwiches and salads pre-prepared and set out in a deli fridge, as well as hot and cold beverages (there’s a coffee station), and snacks (chips, jams, pickles, chocolate, cookies, frozen treats, etc.) The new operation will be open from spring to fall, to start, with hours 9:30am to 4:30pm all week long.
“We are excited to have a quick and easy option for our visitors to grab a drink or a bite to eat, as a customer amenity while visiting,” said Mary Roberts, executive director for the Martin House. “We especially love the homage paid to the original carriage turntable in the middle of the floor, signifying the historical relevance of the building.”
The café is the newest addition to the 1.5-acre historic estate, and leverages an adjacent carriage house associated with a residence that was demolished in the late 1960s.
The Statler Café will offer up another reason for locals to visit The Martin House. After all, coffee and food is a means to an end. If people can fit in a quick lunch with a visit to The Complex, it’s an added incentive to stop on over.
As for the name of the café, it was The Statler Foundation that provided support for the renovations. Hotelier Ellsworth Statler, was a contemporary of Darwin Martin. The Foundation is in lasting tribute to Statler and wife Alice, to fulfill visions that align with Statler’s sensibilities, such as the one that we see here.
*Additional funding was provided by New York State – Empire State Development. All proceeds support the programs and preservation of the National Historic Landmark and NYS Historic Site.