WARRENTON, Ind. (WEHT)– Gibson County boasts the oldest restaurant in Hoosier state. The Log Inn also served as a dining spot for a well known US President.
“Would never have dreamed we would come up with something like this,” said The Log Inn co-owner Rita Elpers, “We’re homestyle cooking. We’re known for our fried chicken for our family style, our slaw. and our pies.”
Rita has been living at The Log Inn with her family since 1947, when she was 7 years old.
But the restaurant is much more than a tasty dining experience. Elpers says it’s the oldest restaurant in Indiana. Built in 1825, The Log Inn, nestled in the community of Warrenton, served as one of the oldest trading posts and stagecoach stops in the country.
Patrons also have the chance to dine in the Lincoln Room. It’s named that because President Abraham Lincoln visited the restaurant and ate a meal while campaigning in 1844 for Henry Clay for president.
“They want to sit in the same room as he did,” said Elpers. “Just the logs. Everybody can’t believe how they had logs like this years ago and it was all man handled. There were no cranes or anything to build it.” The building was expanded after the Civil War.
Before it was a restaurant, The Log Inn included a general store, tavern, and dance hall. Back in those days, Elpers ran the cash register in the grocery store.
In 1965, the restaurant debuted, and Rita’s father discovered the history of the building, and original logs used during construction. “My dad was a history buff anyway,” said Elpers, “So he went to work and he had no idea we were living in logs.”
Despite the pandemic, The Log Inn is open for business and offering a trip back time. They’re open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m – 10 p.m.