Fronted by a circa 1905 historic house, The Mansion has some history! We’ll tell it to you here, but don’t worry, there won’t be a test.
The Mansion, a three-story house at 1218 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne, was originally known as The Queen Anne. Built in 1905, it was the winter home of Nannie McBride Lee and her husband, John B. Lee. Not long after the house was completed, however, the couple started living in it year-round.
Nannie Lee quickly became active in the Melbourne community, and the house became the center for numerous social, religious and civic activities, among them: Nannie’s memorable ice-cream socials.
In its early years, the sturdy house occasionally served as a hurricane shelter. It’s particularly fine oak staircase, bay window, and gingerbread trim were crafted by the Lees’ neighbor, a boat builder and carpenter named Claude Beaujean. Beaujean’s family operated the Atlantic Ferry service, which crossed the Indian River five times each day before a bridge linked the city to the nearby beaches.
When Nannie Lee passed away in 1929, the house became the property of her adopted daughter, Lily Tidwell. Lily and her husband, then the owner of Melbourne’s only gas station, raised their children in the house and lived there until Lily’s death. Her heirs sold the property.
It was first rented and then left empty until its former owners bought it in 1975. They spent six years restoring the dilapidated mansion; removing layers of old paint from handsome oak beams, iconic columns and an ornate fireplace. A successful restaurant was open and operated for many years.
Closing in 2005, the property sat vacant until it was purchased in 2010. New owners, Dean and Beth DiGiacinto began work to create a new food and entertainment complex, one that was unique to Melbourne and, well, everywhere else! With a commitment to honor the history of the building, and preserve the House that was Home to the community, Dean and Beth set out to transform the building.
What was once a home that was used to bring people together for ice cream socials, and to protect them from damaging storms, a home that became a restaurant where many were married, celebrated special events or just came to relax, is now a home to a new generation’s celebrations, events and gatherings. A home where hospitality is number one and fun abounds, a place where folks can come and enjoy all different types of food and drink in a unique and comfortable atmosphere.
The Mansion! Welcome Home.
The Mansion serves only fresh food made from scratch every day. You will never eat an appetizer, entrée or dessert made outside our kitchen which is proudly managed by Chef Timmy. Our Florida inspired cuisine offers something for everyone in your party, no matter how fussy, young or old they may be. Are you interested in a great filet, a crab cake, a hamburger or maybe some ahi tuna tacos? How about chicken tenders, an heirloom caprese salad or the daily fresh catch? We could go on and on about our endless selections, but we don’t want to take the fun away. Choosing what to eat goes hand in hand with where you want to dine at The Mansion. Do you want a romantic view of the river and plan to leave the kids at home? Then the upstairs Terrace is the place for you. Do you want the cozy atmosphere of an indoor bar? Then dine in the Tavern. Maybe you prefer outdoor seating under the lights in our Garden for a little Florida charm. There’s always inside dining in the restaurant for the air conditioning or heat occasionally. Inquire about our two private dining rooms in the historic Mansion located above our Cellars for smaller parties, and our two outside gardens for larger parties. There is a place for everyone at the Mansion! Reservations are graciously accepted.
Take A Tour...
You may get distracted by the stained glass, oak woodwork, and pine floors, but don’t forget to shop the great selection of competitively priced micro brews from around the world, domestic and international wines and liquors galore! Explore the quaint wine tasting room, the gin closet located under the stairs, tequila row, the whiskey bar and the endless hallway of beers. There’s more too! Our walk-in cooler offers a great selection of chilled wines, champagnes and kegs of beer, and our espresso bar will keep you warm on a cold day. If you don’t know what to take home just ask our Cellar’s staff to educate you on what is great for the right price!