In 1935, Barber’s Lodge was opened as a tea room by Dean and Hermione Barber at 47 West Genesee Street. The Barbers had provided cooking for the Skaneateles Country Club and the Auburn Country Club, and in their new location both the menu and their reputation flowered. One critic noted, “The Barbers’ art at making delightful dishes and appetizing menus has a universal appeal.” They hosted banquets, wedding breakfasts and receptions, farewell dinners, and luncheons with bridge to follow. Finding the Lodge to be an ideal meeting place were many local organizations, including the Business and Professional Women’s Club, Chamber of Commerce, Garden Club, Leisure Hour Club, Monday Evening Club, Rotary Club, Village Home Bureau and Village Improvement Association. Holiday dinners were a specialty with special spreads on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Father’s and Mother’s Day.
During World War II, in 1942 and ’43, Kitty Wainwright, the wife of Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, lived at the Lodge with her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Holley.
However, perhaps because of wartime rationing and fuel restrictions, the Barbers closed the Lodge in 1944. Being just a few doors down from the Krebs was probably a challenge as well.