After 83 years in business, the historic Chalet Suzanne will close its doors on Aug. 4. The quirky pink inn and restaurant has been a Lake Wales mainstay for decades, hosting scores of guests, including celebrities like Robert Redford and Johnny Carson, since opening in 1931.
The restaurant attached to the inn was beloved for its kitschy yet well-executed food, serving a traditional menu that included dishes from an earlier era like broiled grapefruit topped with chicken liver, lobster Newburg, cherries Romanoff (you know, there just aren't enough modern dishes named after celebrities these days – where's my Chilean sea bass a la Sofia Vergara?) and romaine soup. The lettuce soup was so popular it actually made two trips to the moon, aboard Apollo 15 and 16. In fact, Chalet Suzanne's soups became so famous, the owners built a cannery on site so they could package them for sale in gourmet groceries.
The iconic inn's expansive 100-acre property is home to a 26-room inn, an FAA-licensed public airport and runway, a vineyard, a shooting range and scads of antiques. And after it closes? It's all going on the block. The third-generation owners, Eric and Dee Hinshaw, will hold a silent auction for the antiques, art and highly collectible souvenirs that the estate houses, and then the famous property, all 100 acres of it, will go up for sale.
Here are some photos of Chalet Suzanne and its classic food, courtesy of Flying Florida:
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.