The New Homestead

About seven or eight years ago I was introduced to a nice restaurant in the area.  Just south of the Ohio Turnpike is an old Victorian style house that was converted years ago into a beautiful restaurant.  A friend of mine introduced me to the Homestead Inn one year during Lent.  We had a large group going to Norwalk to attend a community production of the Passion Play.  Being a Friday during Lent, I had the salmon and it was easily the best I had ever tasted.

The Homestead Inn wasn’t a franchise restaurant or a fast food chain.  It had tablecloths and linen napkins, but it was not an astronomically expensive place either.  It was a nice place to take a date or to take friends or family visiting from out of town.  I did all three.

My parents enjoyed Homestead Inn on one visit.  Some friends of theirs from the neighborhood back home also had a good meal there when they made a trip up to the lake.  I took my wife there on one of our early dates and that may have sealed the deal for me.

In 2006, the Homestead Inn closed down after years of business.  I had not gone there often – probably less than ten times, but it was always a nice change of pace from the strip of franchise restaurants in Sandusky.  I was disappointed and hoped that someone else would open the place back up, but after a few years of being vacant that seemed unlikely.

In early March of 2009, a co-worker of mine mentioned that the Homestead was going to reopen under new ownership very soon.  I was excited to hear the news and actually called my wife at work to let her know that one of our early dating spots was coming back into business.

Wanting to get a little more information on the details, I tried to search the local newspaper’s web site for the story.  Initially I was unsuccessful, but I eventually found the information in the online version of the Norwalk paper.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the names of the two new investors opening up the restaurant!

One was none other than “Brandon” (listed in the article as being from the Cleveland area) who was the subject of my earlier November 10, 2008 blog post!  After that God-Incidence when I met up with Brandon in the Cleveland Justice Center underbelly, I hadn’t heard back from him after I giving him my business card.

I wasn’t certain that it was the same person, but decided two God-Incidences in less than six months was a greater sign.  So I did a search online and found an e-mail address that likely belonged to Brandon and asked him if he and the new restauranteur were the same “Brandon” that I knew.  He replied to my e-mail with his phone number and I called him in early April.

It turns out he had misplaced my card back in September and wasn’t able to reach me, but had just located it earlier that week in his office – and then he got this e-mail from me out of the blue!

We chatted for a bit and talked about the restaurant business.  A few weeks later, I was able to take my wife there again for a fine meal and catch up a little bit more with an old friend.  My schedule and family keep me pretty busy.  Brandon’s work and family keep him busy also as he makes the commute each day to the restaurant from the Cleveland area.

I’ve only had the opportunity to stop in that one time, but what an ironic God-Incidence to first hear that old an favorite was going to re-open, and then find out that it was being re-opened by an old friend of mine with no connection to the local area. . . an old friend that was the subject of another amazing God-Incidence just months before!

If you are ever in the North Central Ohio area and need a place to eat a nice meal, find the Homestead Inn on route 250 just south of the Ohio Turnpike and ask your waitress to tell Brandon that Tom sent you!

Praise God!

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