Friday, November 21, 2008
(Photo: Rosie's Cracker Barrel Restaurant in 2008 by Laura Vague.)
Rosie's Cracker Barrel hasn't really been Rosie's for 25 years, since William "Rosie" Henry died and his popular grocery/drug store/post office/bar drifted into a plumbing shop and then a vacant building. But it's still there, with Rosie's sign still on it, awaiting a new life. The landmark building at the foot of the Carmel River bridge at 1 Esquiline Road was the first commercial structure in Carmel Valley Villlage. It was built in 1927 as the real estate office for Robles Del Rio, the first subdivision in the valley. Rosie bought the structure in 1939, sold crackers out of the barrel, beans out of sacks, posted neighbors' mail between the shoestrings and pocket knives, stocked comics for kids, and ran a 6-stool bar in a back room for their parents. It was the civic center of the village for decades, and in 1993 the county added Rosie's to its registry of historic landmarks.