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Mon Desir Restaurant Closes, Burns to Ground

 

Many Southern Oregonians are familiar with the Mon Desir restaurant in Central Point that closed in 2001.  Orchardist Conro Fiero built the revival-style Tudor mansion in 1910 as a home for him and his wife, Grace Andrews, a Broadway actress who had traveled the theater circuit in the early 1900s.  Mon Desir is French for “My Desire.”

Alec and Julie Tummers purchased the home in the 1940s and turned it into a restaurant. Julie Tummers’ talent as a cook and Mon Desir’s location caused Life magazine to select it in 1957 as one of the country’s 49 outstanding out-of-the-way restaurants. The New Yorker magazine mentioned it, too.

In the 1960s, Stan Smith and his wife, Tommie, bought the restaurant and a white oak bar that had once been in the Otto Biede Saloon in Jacksonville, purchased in 1889 by Stan Smith’s grandfather.

The Mon Desir was the last of the Smiths’ restaurants. They also owned Cubby’s Drive-In for 20 years, and the A&W, the last Medford drive-in to offer car-hop service.

The Mon Desir building burned to the ground in 2010.  The Smiths’ drive-ins no longer exist, either.
 

Sources: Smith, Thomasine Swoape. More Than a Cookbook. Medford, Ore.: Gandee Printing Center, 1985. Print; "Historic Mon Desir Restaurant is gone but not forgotten." Upper Rogue Independent. 18 Jan. 2010. Web. 5 Nov. 2014. http://www.urindependent.com/2010/01/historic-mon-desir-restaurant-is-gone-but-not-forgotten/; Southern Oregon Historical Society Vertical File, Tummers.