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: