Originally known as Phoebe's Garden Café, the restaurant has a long and colorful history in Syracuse. Local lore claims that the building was originally a brothel, and Phoebe was its madam. The tin ceiling above the bar is original to the building and the name still honors Phoebe, but much has changed since those early days. William Eberhardt opened Phoebe's Garden Cafe in December of 1976 with a bistro style menu and an ornately carved wood bar.The atmosphere was rich with red brick walls, and deep green upholstery,all surrounded by lush green plants. The large atrium dining room was added in 1985, increasing seating and opening up the entire restaurant with a sunny new skylight.
In the summer of 2004, Phoebe's experienced a refreshing makeover with a bright new look in the atrium dining room with fresh paint, new upholstery, and artwork. The bar and cafe areas were softened with cool linen window treatments and warm shades of burgundy and cream.The coffee lounge also opened that year, and it became an instant hit with the surrounding university and business crowd. Those changes also warranted a new name to reflect the updated attitude and ambiance: Phoebe's Restaurant and Coffee Lounge. Classic elements of Phoebe's remain untouched—the French onion soup and enticing crème brulee, for example, but other menu items change seasonally. Looking for more of a quick bite on the go? The Coffee Lounge serves as a take-out window, in addition to all of the made-to-order coffee and espresso drinks. The Lounge also has its own seating area and free wireless internet capabilities. Phoebe's old world charm is right at home in a revitalized area of the city. Located on the Connective Corridor on East Genesee Street across from Syracuse Stage and near Syracuse University, Phoebe's is a favorite stop for theater goers and students. We invite you to join us—and make Phoebe's your new favorite place.