Chalet Suzanne

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Chalet Suzanne
Chalet Suzanne (Lake Wales, Florida) 001.jpg
Chalet Suzanne
Chalet Suzanne is located in Florida
Chalet Suzanne
Chalet Suzanne is located in the US
Chalet Suzanne
Location 3800 Chalet Suzanne Drive
Lake Wales, Florida
Coordinates 27°57′25″N 81°35′55″W / 27.95694°N 81.59861°W / 27.95694; -81.59861Coordinates: 27°57′25″N 81°35′55″W / 27.95694°N 81.59861°W / 27.95694; -81.59861
NRHP Reference # 90001085[1]
Added to NRHP July 24, 1990

Chalet Suzanne (once known as the Carleton Club) is a historic site in Lake Wales, Florida. It is located at 3800 Chalet Suzanne Drive. On July 24, 1990, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Originally envisioned as a magnificent residential resort appealing to people who enjoyed golf and tennis, the Carleton Club was a vision of cheese baron James L. Kraft and Carl and Bertha Hinshaw. Kraft soon bowed out of the enterprise. When Carl Hinshaw died in 1931, Bertha Hinshaw opened her home as a restaurant and inn to travelers, serving exotic recipes on fine china that she had gathered around the world. Among those who visited and helped to publicize the restaurant and inn was Duncan Hines. Other famous guests have included Burt Reynolds, Dinah Shore, Robert Redford, Johnny Carson, Kevin Costner and Don Johnson.[2]

In 1943 the Chalet was largely destroyed by fire. Hinshaw quickly rebuilt it using salvaged parts from the horse stables, a game room, servants’ quarters and a chicken house. This unusual design, consisting of 14 different levels, is still in use today.

In 1956, Carl Hinshaw Jr. opened a cannery on the property for the restaurant's famous soups, including their signature romaine. The soups became very popular, selling worldwide. Chalet Suzanne soup went with the astronauts to the moon during the Apollo 15 and 16 flights.[3]

The Chalet has been featured in many publications, among them The New Yorker, Vogue, Life, Better Homes and Gardens, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, Forbes and Time magazines. Bertha Louise Hinshaw died in 1973 at the age of 90; the Chalet continues under the ownership and management of the Hinshaw family.

On July 10, 2014, it was announced that with the retirement of the Hinshaw family, the Chalet would close on or about August 4. The business and property are up for sale as a result.[4] As of May 2016, current owners Eric and Dee Hinshaw have turned down offers from property developers who wanted to build houses, hoping that someone with a "grand vision for the property" will purchase it.[5]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Montgomery, Ben. "Fans of Chalet Suzanne savor iconic restaurant, but can't save it". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  3. ^ McPherson, Heather. "Chalet Suzanne, Central Florida's iconic restaurant and inn, to close Aug. 4". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Pera, Eric. "Chalet Suzanne in Lake Wales to Close After 83 Years of Business". Halifax Media Group. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Pera, Eric (May 5, 2016). "Owner Eric Hinshaw said he and his wife, Dee, have postponed putting the 130-acre property on the market following a February 2015 auction of furnishings, equipment and memorabilia.". The Ledger. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Chalet Suzanne at Wikimedia Commons