“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.