The three story brick building located at 91 Dutton Street was originally built between the years of 1855 and 1859. Newspaper articles from the early 1900's speculate that it was 1859 that the Merrimack Manufacturing Company completed construction as a boardinghouse for the company’s high officials. The gentlemen used the building during summers when their families headed to the shore while also welcoming those traveling to Lowell on business.
Built on the foundation of an unknown earlier building, granite was used for the foundation and red brick for the walls of this “rock solid” building. The cast iron Victorian fence and granite stairs are representative of the popular Italianate style of the time. The soon-to-be Yorick Building was one of the earliest identified buildings in Lowell to employ segmental-arched windows with brick Italianate caps.
The Yorick Gentlemen’s Club, which was founded in 1882, purchased the property in 1901 after a fire forced them to move from the Mansur building on Central Street. They officially took over the building on July 22. At this time they hired nationally renowned architect, Frederick Stickney, who had studied at the then Institute of Technology in Boston, for a series of major renovations. Stickney was praised for his introduction of, “…many original features which admirably serve to vary the dull monotony of the old-fashioned brownstone fronts.” All in all, the purchase and renovation cost around $60,000, which by today’s standards is more than 1.5 million dollars.
The private gentlemen’s club occupied this space for the next 78 years. After opening, “…the club was noted for its fine food and luxurious interior” including a private dining room, library and billiards hall. The fine style and décor still holds true today. Rumors of the speakeasy and secret passages behind the walls still circulate among the staff and regular customers, as service bells, wainscoting and a secret stairwell can all be found in the depths of the cellar labyrinth. We may never know where the “doorbell” in the lobby leads, but it makes for a darned good story.
After more than a century, the original structure was one of only a small number of “tenements” constructed by the Merrimack Manufacturing Company still in existence. The special architectural treatment the Yorick Building had received both upon initial construction in the mid 19th century and later renovations at the beginning of the 20th century, “set the three-story structure apart from its simpler neighbors,” and saved it from urban renewal in the late 1960s. The now storied Yorick Building was converted to restaurant space in 1978 and housed a number of different concepts including Oliver’s Restaurant and later The Dutton Street Grille, until it was purchased by Scott and Kathy Plath in 1994 and reinvented as COBBLESTONES Restaurant and Bar.
Although the Textile Mills have mostly given way to beautiful museums and sun-drenched condominiums throughout this proud City, COBBLESTONES Restaurant, now in its 20th year, continues a proud tradition as gracious host to all walks of life; from the local faithful, to the many tourists, business travelers and those attending Lowell’s exciting and innumerable events and festivals. And just a few major celebrities, as well!
COBBLESTONES Restaurant is within walking distance of all of Lowell’s attractions and entertainment venues, including The Paul E Tsongas Arena, The Lowell Memorial Auditorium, The Merrimack Repertory Theater, Boardinghouse Park and The National Park Visitors Center.
With most of the original architecture intact, COBBLESTONES Restaurant offers a variety of dining and drinking options, modified for modern use. What was once the “Grand Billiard Hall” is now the main dining room. The original library has given way to a private dining room seating 20 and is adorned with twin fireplaces while the upstairs sleeping rooms have been opened up for two beautiful function rooms. The original dining room, where “the gentlemen” enjoyed a brandy and cigar is now a separate pub with a vast selection of martini’s, classic American cocktails, draught beers, and a predominantly American Wine list.
COBBLESTONES Restaurant cuisine combines both traditional comfort and regionally inspired American fare alongside contemporary selections. Our many steaks are hand cut and our seafood is delivered fresh daily. All soups, sauces and desserts are made fresh, “in house” every day.
Please visit COBBLESTONES Restaurant where our welcoming staff carries on a tradition of excellence and hospitality. Committed to our guest’s satisfaction, we will always strive to exceed your expectations!