Strawn hopes revived Amishville will prosper surrounding area
Ginger Englehardt has returned to one of her favorite places in the world. When she was younger, she always enjoyed going to the Essen Platz Restaurant at Amishville to enjoy the Swiss cuisine, complete with home made Amish pies, Swiss bacon dressing and old-fashioned German potatoes.
Now, her dream of someday managing the restaurant and working in that setting is well on its way. She and her husband, Chris, recently acquired the eatery with hopes of restoring it to its former glory.
"The woman who is baking our pies is the daughter of the original pie baker for many years," side Englehardt. "We feel so fortunate to be able to get her. We are currently searching for old recipes that characterized the food people used to enjoy so much here. We are looking through cookbooks and consulting with original owners in an attempt to make this a restaurant with the Swiss-German flavor that everyone always enjoyed so much."
In addition, Englehardt said, the original gift shop will be re-opened and tours that many used to enjoy will be restored. In fact, Englehardt said that the gift shop is currently open on Sundays for a 50 percent off sale geared towards clearing out the old merchandise in order to bring in new stock.
Restaurant hours are currently from 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays, 11-8 p.m. on Fridays and 9-8 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays.
Englehardt stressed that the goal is to continue to expand the menu and services to a former status that the community always enjoyed.
In addition to the resurrection of the restaurant, other socially popular events such as the Sunday morning gospel sing have also recently been revived.
"We feel really good about the way things are going," said Strawn. "We are really happy. We've had some really good people move into the campgrounds. In fact, we have people there from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
"We mainly came in and cleaned it all up and made it presentable and enjoyable," continued Strawn. "We have scheduled lots of fun family activities, including lots of things for kids. We have returned bingo and popcorn on Saturday nights. Every weekend we have special themes and special activities surrounding those themes. Some people even dress accordingly."
Strawn noted that field and permanent sites have been hooked up and that there is a three months waiting list on certain site areas.
"We are really excited about it, people are pretty excited about having things going back there," Strawn said.
Strawn noted that planning for certain weekends is being coordinated with national holidays and certain events in the area such as Labor Day and the Tractor Engine Show in Portland.
"We've sent post cards out to everybody on the computer to let everyone know that we are the owners and that things are up and running again," Strawn said.
Strawn said that Oct. 15 and 22 have been pegged as Halloween weekends.
"We're going to have a haunted something," said Strawn. "We're not sure you whether or not it's going to be the woods or the barn."
Strawn and co-business partner Jason Hines purchased the business last spring in an auction conducted by Rob Green Auctioneering.
"I had always been interested in owning something like that," said Strawn. "We only had three weeks to get things in order for the sale."
Those interested in making reservations can call 260-589-3536.
"We hope to fill up a lot of weekends to the extent that businesses uptown can see a real difference," Strawn said. "We try to send people into sites in Berne or Geneva. People come into the office and say, 'what can we do around here?' We welcome any information or brochures anyone wants to give us to pass out to our guests."
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