Few people have ever been lucky enough to own a landed estate, so those who had horses and lived in the centre of town needed a place to keep them. Small business owners might only need their horse every few days, so having a home stable might have been inconvenient. They would have kept their horse and possibly their carriage at the livery stable. This would have been a large barn and storage area where horses would have their own stall. A space for parking carriages would have also been available.
Most of the central buildings in small villages were not very large, and many of them had multiple floors. This catered to the needs of locals to be able to walk everywhere, but it also serves modern man by providing many levels for living and working space. A livery stable would have had a loft to contain the feed and hay for horses, and tools might have also been stored there.
Recreating a livery stable today might not be a good business idea, but that spacious building could serve a local shop that is looking for a historic venue for their new home. Many commercial ventures have found that type of charm is a unique way to help attract customers. It can also provide them with a large enough area for their goods, and they can keep their offices and additional stock in the former loft.
Charm and personality have long been a draw for many customers, so converting an old building into a new business can be a good start. Retaining some of the old furnishings would help set the stage, and even incorporating the name of the old livery into the new signage could help draw in curious potential customers. Intelligent business owners use every tool they can find, and even a historical building can be a great sales tool.