The Chanticleer Restaurant, 1900





Actress Agnes Everett opened the Chanticleer Restaurant on New Street as a tearoom soon after 1900. Everett needed help, and hired the intrepid Wiley sisters to run the popular village eatery. The Chanticleer subsequently was operated by the Wiley family as a restaurant featuring a menu of "all American and wonderful" dishes for fifty-eight years. The dormered east wing was built during the Wileys' ownership, adding a dining room on the first floor and guest and employee rooms upstairs.

After World War II, as dependence on household help declined, the restaurant provided a popular and casual venue for many summer families and visitors who regularly met there for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. As many as two hundred and fifty dinners, but no spirits, might be served until 8:30 each evening, when the uniformed college-student waitresses would finish their tasks and sit on the porch playing guitars or cross the street to go to dances and movies at the Casino.

In 1969, Roy Larson and other investors bought the Chanticleer, restored and re­vamped it, and opened a sophisticated restaurant with chef Jean-Charles Berruet in 1970. Berruet, from Brittany, had been the private chef of Gourmet magazine's owner Earle MacAusland and his wife Jean at their homes in New York and on Nantucket for the previous three years. In addition to offering chef Berruet's classic French cuisine, the Chanticleer won the Wine Spectator Grand Award every year beginning in 1987 for having one of the best wine lists in the world. In 2004, the restaurant was sold, and was reopened in 2006 by Jeff Worster and Susan Handy, who have thoughtfully preserved the ambiance of the historic property and garden and are continuing the more recent tradition of fine cuisine, wines, and camaraderie.



The Chanticleer, Siasconset, Nantucket Island
Scan gift of Joan Brown Porter.


A digital exhibition by the Nantucket Historical Association