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Amy and Ben Postlethwait stand in front of the Buckley House on Front Street. They purchased the house in December and will open a restaurant there in March. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

MARIETTA — Two months after The Buckley House restaurant shut down in October, the building was purchased by Ben and Amy Postlethwait.

It will soon reopen under the name Benny & Babe at the Buckley, a derivative of their Benny & Babe food truck.

They are keeping some of the original features of the house, which was built in 1879, such as the floors, but most of the rest is being renovated. The entire restaurant has been painted and a tin tiled ceiling has been installed.

Most of the renovations are under wraps until the soft opening on March 5 and 6.

“It will come together quickly, but we have quite a bit of work to do,” he said.

The official grand opening is March 10.

“We’ll be open Thursday through Saturday for a dinner service and we’re going to do a brunch service on Sunday,” Ben said.

He said it’s subject to change as they may decide to open for lunch eventually.

For now, the restaurant will open at 4:30 p.m. with last seating at 9:30 p.m., Amy said.

Sunday brunch will be 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Ben, a chef for the last 20 years, said the restaurant will feature “Southern-inspired small plates.”

They decided on the style because of their love of it.

“We’ve been to Charleston, S.C.,” Ben said. “We have some friends in the south. We’ve traveled around and we love that Charleston, S.C., dining scene. Everything is so fresh and very well crafted.”

Amy said it isn’t about busting out as much as possible, but it’s more about an experience.

He said they want their restaurant to be farm-to-table and the menu will be ingredient driven.

“We want to source as much as we can locally and our menu will be based on what’s available,” he said. “What’s fresh and what’s in season.”

They had a meeting with Sugar Butte Farms this week and they will use them for whatever items they have available, he said.

Ben said they will have a small menu, with no more than 12 items or as few as eight items “so we can focus on quality.”

“It’s mainly going to be small plates with smaller portions,” Ben said. “We’re going to encourage people to share. I know it’s kind of a weird time to encourage people to share.”

Amy said they will use utensils for taking the food off the plates.

“We’ll have safe ways to do that,” he said.

Ben added they are “hyper focused” on food. They want to make everything crafted as well as possible, he said.

The Buckley House wasn’t their initial choice for a brick and mortar restaurant, but they saw it become available after the previous restaurant closed in October.

“We decided to jump at it. It seemed like a great opportunity,” he said.

They want to stay true to the space, but want to create their own identity and carve their own niche in the community.

Ben and Amy are both originally from New Martinsville, but Amy has been in the area for about 15 years, Ben said. He was a chef in Columbus.

Amy did the interior design.

“I love them,” she said of the tin ceiling. “It makes me pretty happy.”

She said they’ve been working on renovating the house seven days a week since Christmas.

“A lot of paint, all the lighting has changed, we redid the whole upstairs as we’re using that as well,” she said. “We put a very low-key bar and lounge up there with a private dining room for private parties for work events or private events.”

She said at some point, they will allow people to rent the entire upstairs.

“And possibly the entire building if the party is big enough,” Ben said, although that’s a future goal.

“We have to make sure we’re in a groove and staffed,” Amy said.

They will also plan to open the back patio for guests in mid-May.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at [email protected]

***

At a Glance

* What: Benny & Babe at the Buckley restaurant to open.

* When: Soft opening is March 5 and 6, with grand opening March 10.

* Hours: 4:30 p.m. to last seating at 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

* Where: The Buckley House, 332 Front St., Marietta.

Source: Ben Postlethwait.




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