Originaly built as a single room adobe in 1833 by Benjamin Day, the adobe was purchased in 1837 by James Stokes, a druggist, doctor, and former sailor. He marries Josefa Soto de Cano, a widow with four children, in 1840. They soon have two children of their own, and need for more room. James expands the adobe into a seven room two story house with a wing for the kitchen and storage rooms. A wall and several shacks surround the building. One of these shacks held the printing press for California's first newspaper. Stokes serves for a time as mayor of Monterey.
The property is sold in 1856 to Honore Escolle. Escolle installs a large oven used for his bakery business and uses it as a kiln. He uses it to bake bread and make pottery. The property goes through several owners until Mortimer Gragg purchases the home in 1890. He lives in the home with his wife Harriet, who is known as Hattie. The property has a bustling social scene until Hattie's death in 1948.
In 1950 it is converted into the Gallatin Restaurant by Mr. and Mrs. Gallatin Powers. It closes in 1980. Through the mid 80s to the mid nineties several restaurants occupy the space until 1996 when it is opened as Stokes Adobe Restaurant by Kirk and Dorothy Probasco with Brandon Miller as the restaurants chef. After an extensive remodeling, the restaurant is renamed Stokes Restaurant and Bar.
The history of ghostly encoutners goes back to the building's time as Gallatin's Restaurant when the first reports of the figure of a man in 1800s style clothing and an apparition of a beautiful woman are seen by the employees. It is believed they are the ghosts of James Stokes and his wife Josefa. It is also believed that the ghost of Hattie Gragg also haunts the building.
According to the employees we talked to there are several manifestations on the property. In the main room if you stand in front of what used to be the front door to the building, you will sometimes get tapped on the shoulder. People sitting in chairs on the left side of the main room will sometimes complain that someone keeps moving their chairs. In the booth to the right cold spots can be felt sometimes. On the staircase to the upstairs parts of the building a ghost in period costume can be seen. The mirrors in the upstairs room that used to be the main bedroom are original and sometimes get nudged to the side. People will also experience a disembodied female voice that will call you name when no one else it around.
Our waiter reported a few personal experiences that he has had on the property. He has been tapped on the shoulder, and heard his name. One night, after closing, he heard a woman's voice say "Excuse me, cna you help me?" He went to the front of the restaurant, but there was no one there. He and a female coworker heard the voice a seocnd time, this time she went, but also did not see anyone. The heard the voice a third time and they both went to check it out, and again there was no one there.
The food was decent, and the waiter was excelent. We did not have a lot of time to explore the building as we were late for the Halloween Party at the Montery Bay Aquarium, but it was a nice restaurant that I would definately go to again if I was in the Monterey area. Especially because I would like more of a chance to look around.
The food was fine but our Waiter was Great! I, for a change, agree with my husband completely!