Restoring the home to its original glory, Carter Harrell, Jr. purchased the building and partnered with entrepreneur Manuela Mattingly to fill a niche in Leitchfield.
Hosting five bedrooms, each given a themed name – George Washington Room, Pine Knob Room, Rough River Room, William Grayson Room – can accommodate out-of-town guest, or those natives who would like to spend the night away and have a bed-and-breakfast experience.
The rooms reflect the era of the home with the original built-in bookcases and moldings intact, but have a very modern, tranquil feel with shades of blues and yellows chosen for the wall colors. The bedding competes with the finest hotels found in Louisville and Lexington with Egyptian cotton linens and comforters.
The café downstairs is unique in multiple ways, and created 15 new jobs for Leitchfield. Purchasing fresh grown produce from local farmers, Mattingly, a trained chef from Germany, said she wants to keep her menu simple to ensure quality and not quantity. The menu items also boast unique flavors that cannot be found in other restaurants nearby; such as the Greek burger, avocado bisque, and filet of salmon – to name a few.
There is also a coffee bar with Uri the barista, who grounds fresh coffee for customers. The light fixture over the coffee bar is handcrafted by Uri Haynes, and shines on what appears to be unfinished drywall. This area was intentionally left unfinished, according to Mattingly, to show how homes were constructed 100 years ago – which is much different than the construction process that takes place today.
Building owner, Carter Harrell, Jr., said he had not owned the building for a week when Mattingly approached him with deep desires to preserve it and open a café. Harrell said he was considering tearing the building down and erecting an apartment complex on the land.
After five months of renovations and plan changes, the Midtown Café and Inn were completed and opened this week. The business was met with great anticipation by the community, and nothing but accolades have consumed the businesses facebook page.
Harrell said he has been overwhelmed with public response. Many former owners and tenants of the home have approached Harrell to share their tales and experiences in the home. He said he realized the importance of this building to so many and is honored to play a part in its preservation.
The business is opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday – Saturday, with a local band, The Downs Project, playing music every other Friday, beginning on Friday, July 26, 2013, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Leslie Downs, the bands lead vocal, performed during the ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday.