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History of the majestic

Established in 1932, The Majestic has been an important landmark of Old Town dining for over 80 years. Though the restaurant has changed hands over a few generations, this historic spot and the iconic neon sign and storefront have beckoned diners to enjoy a great meal, and our new destination offers nothing less.

Located in the very center of the ‘Best Downtown in America,’ The Majestic is right in the middle, and is one of the most charming and interesting destinations in the country. With boutiques, bars, and galleries galore, history all around, we are a ‘must-do’ when visiting.

In 1932, John Gadonas opened the original Majestic Café at 622 King Street. He then moved and opened the New Majestic Café here to 911 King Street in 1949. Known as ‘Mr. John,’ Gadonas altered the building to enlarge the interiors, added an Art Deco façade, and outfitted diner with the latest restaurant equipment and furnishings.

The Gadonas family eventually closed the restaurant in 1978, but kept the building, hoping to reopen someday. That hope became a reality when a group of local investors refurbished and reopened it as The Majestic Café in 2001. At that time, two 25’ tall exterior neon signs were rebuilt, and third neon sign from the original 1932 Majestic storefront was also refurbished, and remains in perfect working order, hanging in our front window. Beyond the iconic neon signs, other original elements from the earliest restaurant on the site remain in the dining room, including most of the terrazzo floor, and parts of the tin ceiling.

architecture & design

The new interior of The Majestic was designed with interior architecture by Paul Beckmann, of Beckmann Architects, and interior design by David Chennault, both of Old Town. The design pays respect to the art deco roots and elements that were retained in the renovation, while adding modern updates and layers of interest through color, texture, a contemporary mix of high and low, articulated through fabrics, finishes, textures, lighting, and an assortment of artwork of all kinds. Inspiration came from intimate supper clubs, art salons, and a collector’s gallery/library/conversation space.

Rich jewel-tones throughout the space are enhanced by ambient lighting, and at the individual booths along one side of the space, small lamps create even more mood and dining ambiance. The open display kitchen takes center stage, while at the opposite end at the storefront and entrance area, the bar offers guests a chance to linger and enjoy a classic cocktail or two.