Historic Hammel House restaurant, B&B back in business

The Hammel House Inn is now reopened in Waynesville under new ownership.
The Hammel House Inn is now reopened in Waynesville under new ownership.

A nearly 200-year-old fixture in Waynesville has come back to life after going dormant two years ago.

The Hammel House Inn, located at 121 S. Main St., in Waynesville, held its grand opening on Sept. 11 with new owners, a fresh look and a new-ish menu.

When the Hammel House closed two years ago for renovations, the former owner decided it was time to retire after operating the inn since the late ’80s. The restaurant and bed and breakfast establishment was purchased by K&D Properties and partially renovated before being leased to the new owners of The Hammel House, husband and wife of 21 years, Floyd and Cheri Douglas, and Cheri’s brother, James Lester.

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“It’s been a lot of sweat and tears, but we are open,” Cheri Douglas said. “My brother moved from Michigan in May. He was talking to everyone about employment and stuff, and I was like, ‘You know, you really need to find something that you really enjoy doing because you spend 90% of your life doing it.’”

It has been a lifelong dream of Floyd’s to own his own restaurant, and both Floyd and James have always loved cooking and presenting food.

When the trio was offered an opportunity to take over The Hammel House, they decided they were all-in.

“We tried to keep it as historic as we possibly could because it’s just a big deal,” Douglas said.

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New bathrooms and floors have been installed, however, much of the original structure is still visible, with a brick façade exposing the original build.

The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is closed Mondays. Some original items from the old Hammel House restaurant are still on the menu, though with new touches from its new owners.

The very first overnight guest at the Hammel House bed and breakfast checked-out Friday morning. Waynesville residents and visitors have been anticipating the inn’s reopening since it first closed two years ago.

“They’re thrilled that it’s back open,” Douglas said. “They love our front porch, love to eat out there. (It’s a) huge, across the building porch where patrons can enjoy lunch or whatever.”

Before moving to the Dayton area about seven years ago, the Douglases were living and working in Nebraska. Cheri and James grew up in Michigan.

“Both of my parents passed in 2017," Douglas said. "So I was here, my brother was in Michigan, and I finally convinced him to come this way so he did. And he loves it. So it’s probably one of the best decisions he made.”

The Hammel House Inn is now taking reservations and is open for people dining in.

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