National Register of Historic Places in Napa County

National Register #78000728: French Laundry in Yountville 20 April 2009
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National Register #78000728
French Laundry
6640 Washington Street
Built c.1900

Accounts of this building's history differ in their details, but the following summary taken from Wikipedia and the French Laundry website contains the main points of consensus.

In the late 19th or early 20th Century, a Scottish stonemason constructed this building as a saloon for Pierre Guillaume. When a 1906 law prohibited sale of alcohol within a mile of a veteran's home, Guillaume sold the building.

During the 1920s, John Lande owned the building and operated a French steam laundry on the premises.

It is unclear who occupied the building in the years between the saloon and the laundry. Most sources mention a brothel.


But most old buildings in California claim a brothel, a speakeasy, an outlaw or a ghost in their past.

In 1974 Don Schmitt, the mayor of Yountville, and his wife Sally, purchased the building, and renovated it to house their French Laundry restaurant which they operated for almost two decades.

In 1994, Thomas Keller purchased the restaurant from the Schmitts.

Today The French Laundry is widely regarded as the best restaurant in the United States, if not the world.

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