Friday, January 19, 2007

French Laundry

French Laundry
National Register of Historic Places #1978000728

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This historic place is located at 6640 Washington Street in the city of Yountville, the county of Napa, California.

The French Laundry, a 1600 square foot structure, constructed from river rock and timbers, was built in 1900 by Scottish stonesman Gus Clark for Frenchman Pierre Guillaume. It was built as a saloon, however, a 1906 state law forbidding the sale of alcohol within a mile of the Veterans Home precipitated Guillaume's sale of the building.

After the sale and at times during it history, the building has served as a residence and at one point, a brothel. During the 1920's, it was owned by John B. Lande and his wife, who operated a "French Steam Laundry," the "French," because of the high degree of skill associated with the service.

In 1978, Don Schmitt, a longtime resident and town major, with his wife Sally, renovated the decrepit structure into a one-seating, fixed-menu restaurant. In 1994, Chef Thomas Keller purchased the restaurant.

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