Local eatery to reopen

ELKINS – Graceland Inn Restaurant on the campus of Davis & Elkins College will reopen this month for lunches and weekend meals featuring a revolving menu with the theme of “farm to table.” By incorporating locally sourced food, Chef Melanie Campbell promises unique offerings based on guests’ suggestions served in an inviting atmosphere.

“It’s all about being at and experiencing Graceland,” Campbell said. “We invite our guests to come up to the veranda for the best view of Elkins.”

The reopening will occur in a staggered schedule. The restaurant will serve dinner from 5-9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday beginning Friday. A special Mother’s Day Brunch is planned for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday and the traditional Sunday brunch returns 11 a.m.-2 p.m. beginning May 15. The popular lunch on the veranda will be back for the summer from 11 a.m.- p.m. every Wednesday through Friday from May 25 to Sept. 2.

Walk-ins are encouraged, but those who wish to make reservations may call 304-637-1308.

Graceland will also host a Surf and Turf Evening from 4:0-8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, beginning Wednesday, with different menu selections each month.

Campbell, general manager of D&E Dining Services, will serve as executive chef working with two cooks.

She will be assisted by Shane Jones, a 2015 graduate of the D&E Hospitality and Tourism Management program, who will also oversee catering, conferences and the hotel. The serving staff is made up of Davis & Elkins College students from a wide range of majors.

“Students are always our No. 1 priority at D&E,” Campbell said. “This is a great group we have here at Graceland and we are going to give them a valuable learning experience.”

Campbell will design a different dinner menu each weekend with offerings of salads, soups, entres and desserts, all prepared in-house. Brunch buffet menus will change as well.

“We’re going to be creative and offer items people can’t get anywhere else,” Campbell says.

Among entre selections Campbell is considering are chicken McAvoy with mushroom and green onion cream sauce, grilled filet mignon with herb compound butter, grilled mahi mahi with fresh pineapple salsa and pasta with sauteed seasonal vegetables and pesto sauce.

While the menu will change, the tradition of hospitality and fine dining in a historic mansion continue.

“We want our guests to enjoy their meals and the house, and know they can tour the building at any time,” Jones said.

“We want people to come here and feel welcome, that’s really at the heart of what we want to do,” Campbell added.

Graceland is the former summer home of U.S. Senator Henry Gassaway Davis and is named after his youngest daughter, Grace. Original construction began in 1891. Designed by the famed Baltimore firm of Baldwin & Pennington, the home includes massive towers and bays, large gables, wide porches and wooden-shingled upper stories.

Refinements include lavish use of fine hardwood paneling, beams and hand-carved columns, red slate roofing tiles from Vermont, self-storing interior shutters, large stained glass windows, and imported Delft tiles that surround the library fireplace.

The West Virginia Presbyterian Education Fund acquired Graceland in 1941 and later presented it to Davis & Elkins College.

The historic structure houses an inn and restaurant, and is a popular venue for wedding receptions, reunions and other events. For additional information, visit www.gracelandinn.com.