Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Battle House

The Battle House is a hotel in beautiful downtown Mobile, Alabama. It sits on Royal St. It opened in 1852 and was rebuilt in 1900. In 1905 it burned and had to be rebuilt again. This edition of the hotel is the one standing today. In 1974 it was closed down and would have been torn down, just as every other building on that block of Royal St. had been, if not for the determination of a few folks who kept it standing until the the Retirement System of Alabama stepped up with funds for a full and glorious restoration. I remember being at the Battle House once as a little kid. It was Mardi Gras and we were visiting family. I remember the grand, marble double stair case. I want to remember sliding down the huge side rails which were like giant, marble sliding boards, but I know my folks would never have let that happen.

So this is the spot Stacey and had picked for lunch Thursday, the day after the Tom Waits show. The Battle House has only been re-opened for about two years now. We try to go every chance we get. Sometimes when we are in Mobile, we wake up and go for a long walk downtown, we walk to the Battle House, take a quick walk through the lobby and public spaces and turn around and walk back home. We have been for cocktails and breakfast a handful of times.

The Joe Cain Cafe has just opened in the Battle House and it has food and a full bar. It’s great room done up Mardi Gras style, with Ol’ Slac being the main theme. There are flat screen televisions everywhere, the food is good and the menu has lot’s of different offerings. If you find yourself having to spend the night in Mobile stay at the Battle House if possible, if not, go check it out.

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