Twin Inns; excerpt from ” A History of Carlsbad” author Master Sergeant John Harmon Jr.

“Watch for the chickens as you go through Carlsbad,” from parents to children down through the years since the huge chickens were erected as a landmark for the “Twin Inns.”

These markers are strongly symbolic, for at “Twin Inns” they serve fried chicken “Nothing But” according to waysigns along the highway.

E. G. Kentner, owner and manager, took over on November 5, 1919. He purchased the Gerhard Schutte home of the two almost identical houses in the same block. The other, on the north, the Wadsworth home, had been converted to an inn in 1895. Under the management of T. J. Riley it had become the Carlsbad Inn” where they served “chicken dinners ev’rything.” After becoming a fire hazard, it was razed in 1950.

Kentner’s “Twin Inn dinery can handle 3500 patrons daily with 19 employees. His name as “Eddie, of the Twin Inns,” is known by many famous persons whose names can be found in the Inns’ guestbook.

Entrance to the “Twin Inns” is through a homey, old fashioned hallway decorated with oil-painted panels into a large reception room, thence into the delightful octagonal dining room overlooking one of the finest private parks on the entire Pacific coast. The dining room will service 500 people. All woodwork and furniture is painted in soft cream and an excellent dance floor gives waiting guests a chance to wile away their time enjoyably.

Remodeling took place between 1922 and 1926. The rotunda (octagonal dining room)‘ now the main dining room, in 1922; the Turkish and Temple rooms in 1924 and the present kitchen in 1926.

The Mecca cocktail lounge is decidedly oriental or Asian in motif, with sliding doors resembling temple design that can be thrown open to combine the lounge and Temple rooms into one.

Gardens can be viewed from the east windows of the rotunda salon. Murals are by the late J. Morton Patterson, a local artist.

The Turkish room, a recent addition to the Mecca bar features a slave market scene and a moonlit harem bathing scene from the brush of Eugene Taylor in the comparatively new medium of black light.

The lower half of the Inn is open to the public; the upper half is the Kentner residence.

Entrance to the restaurant has been changed to open on the west instead of the south. The lobby was completely changed from the original and improvements were made in the upstairs living quarters.


About Carlsbad Historical Society

The Carlsbad Historical Society was established in 1975 to preserve, promote, and enhance knowledge of the surrounding area's history, significant landmarks, institutions and memorabilia. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to reaching out to the community through educational as well as social events.
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4 Responses to Twin Inns; excerpt from ” A History of Carlsbad” author Master Sergeant John Harmon Jr.

  1. sabrinammessenger says:

    I can remember having many a pleasant time at the Twin Inns back in the late 70s/early 80s. Loved the chicken dinner. Used to go there with my then-husband and sometimes with friends.

  2. says:

    My parents went there every year from 1967 to 1980 something for their anniversary, I just want to know what happened to the large chickens out front ?

    • Carlsbad Historical Society says:

      There were several generations of chickens, over the 60 plus years of operation of the Twin Inns.
      The last two were stored by the City, after the restaurant closed. They were stolen, but one was found and is now in the Barn at Magee Park.

    • Carlsbad Historical Society says:

      There were several generation of chickens.
      The last two, when the Twin Inns closed in 1984, were stored someplace, taken out for events, and then lost.
      One was found abandoned and repaired, and it is now inside the Magee Park barn.

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