LIVING LOCAL | Tucked away in small-town Indiana, 1894 Lodge serves up big city flavor
People come from miles around for the food and fellowship at 1894 Lodge.
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NEW WASHINGTON, Ind. (WDRB) -- People come from miles around for the food and fellowship at 1894 Lodge.
Juicy T-Bones, savory seafood ... it might sound like some fancy five-star restaurant in a big city.
But you'd be wrong.
Just pass the pumpkin patch, between the cornfields on Highway 62 is a tiny farming community with a population of 566.
1894 Lodge is in the heart of downtown New Washington. And the head chef isn't some big shot from New York or Chicago. He's fresh out of high school -- just 19 years old.
"This is really the focal point of the town," said Logan Hotstettler, general manager of 1894 Lodge. "It was first as a masonic gathering for the Masonics to come in have their meetings upstairs. Then it turned into a schoolhouse."
In its past life, it was also a movie theater. That's until 2015, when Hostettler's dad bought the century-old building and turned it into a restaurant.
They slowly introduced craft beers and select cuts of steak a cut above the rest. Almost everything on the menu from nearby farms like Berry Best.
"I ain't like going to a normal restaurant and getting something you don't know where it's coming from," said Chris Hayes, an avid customer. "I come here, I know where my food is coming from."
"I would even compare it to a restaurant like Morton's or something like that," said Brian Jones, another regular.
But this isn't just restaurant. It's also a museum. Built in 1894, thus the name, it has all the original beams and real hardwood floors.
On the second floor, a museum is filled with relics from the 1800s and early 1900s. It has an old Army jacket, a child's desk and a covered wagon used by the original settlers.
"That's what's so cool about a lot of stuff up here is that people can actually touch what their grandfathers and their great grandfathers that they may not have known," Hotstettler said. "It's all here."
More than a museum or even a steakhouse, it's the heartbeat of a community, serving up a little taste of the past as it helps New Washington look to the future.
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