by Carla Occaso
MONTPELIER — Y’all have a hankering for cheese grits, catfish or fried chicken at Down Home Restaurant on the corner of Langdon and Main Streets? Well, fear not. They’ve reopened for the first full day today, August 15, after a few weeks of renovating, adding a new chef and creating extended hours.
They had closed temporarily on July 23 and covered the windows with brown paper. But the paper is gone and soup’s on. Mary Alice Proffitt, owner of Down Home, told The Bridge by phone August 15 that renovations primarily allowed her to “fix some issues,” that included having a crowded kitchen space. They added a walk-in refrigerator and also built bakery and prep rooms.
Other innovations include the addition of an Italian-made espresso machine “so we can do all the delicious coffee drinks (such as latte and cappuccino).” Coffee maestro is Robert Hunt of Bohemian Bakery (open Sundays only) in East Calais. Proffitt said she is pleased to offer coffee drinks that locals love in Montpelier restaurant seven days a week.
Also new to the menu will be milkshakes, smoothies and a really good burger. And, in addition, featured menu items will be pulled pork, ribs and hand sliced bacon with homemade Eastern Carolina barbecue sauce.
But the biggest and most notable change at Down Home is the addition of a new chef — Christian Young — who has been working in Georgia and South Carolina. Young cooked with Jimmy Kennedy of River Run for 15 years and has lots of experience. “He is bringing some real talent when it comes to meat, but we still have vegetarian options,” Proffitt said.
Young is also helping to bring the portion sizes up and prices down. Young is also laying the groundwork to shorten the time between when a customer orders and their meal is delivered. “He is hoping to help us get tickets out faster so our lunch crowd can make it back to work,” Proffit said. “There’s a lot of good things happening.”
Hours have been extended to from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proffitt went on to note the timing of these changes. “We are doing this in preperation for our first birthday at the end of September in which we are planning to add dinner.”