A few years ago, the site of Roy's Gulf Station in downtown Lebanon was slated for demolition. The 1950s garage is a building type just now gaining appreciation; when the Colburn Park National Historic District was listed in 1986, the building was not even considered a contributing resource due to its age.
Fortunately, creative minds rallied behind the building and a different use was proposed: Lucky's Coffee Garage.
Deb Shinnlinger had been thinking about opening her own business in the Upper Valley since moving here from Oregon. Her husband, Dave, a wood shop teacher at nearby Mascoma Valley Regional High School, used his talents to pay homage to the building's former life. The interior's decor includes license plate walls, tables and seating created from car parts, and a color scheme influenced by Gulf Oil.
Work included masonry repairs, new roofing, replacement (in-kind) of the garage doors, a new heating system and electrical upgrades, and a thorough interior cleaning. The picture windows, Colonial Revival cupola and trim, and paved setting were all retained. Lebanon's Heritage Commission (which also serves as Historic District Commission) oversaw construction details to ensure historic appropriateness.
On sunny days, the garage doors open up and seating extends outside. According to property owner Mike Davidson of One North Park Street, "this birdseye view of a picturesque New Hampshire common is (almost) as good as the coffee!" The atmosphere and quality menu combine to create a booming business for Lucky's. Shinnlinger is already thinking about expanding hours to meet the needs of the city's night life, especially on nights when the nearby Opera House has events.
And while you'll have to get your oil changed elsewhere now, the folks at Lucky's will be happy to service your caffeine needs or hungry stomach. Just make sure to visit more than every 3,000 miles.
One North Park Street
Deb and Dave Shinnlinger
Studio Nexus Architects & Planning
Newcity Construction Management
City of Lebanon - Lebanon Heritage Commission