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New ‘hang out’ will host concerts in Whitesburg

Owner praises town's 'atmoshphere of growth'


Letcher County’s newest eatery will mark its grand opening this weekend by serving up plenty of Gravy.

Gravy is actually a Los Angeles based rock band who will be in Whitesburg on Saturday night to perform an acoustic show at the new Summitt City Coffee, located next to the Harry M. Caudill Library at 208 Main Street.

The performance, scheduled to begin around 9 p.m., is actually one of two concerts Summitt City is hosting on Saturday. The other, by acclaimed folksinger Si Kahn, is set to begin at 7 p.m. The restaurant is scheduled to officially open on Friday, when it will also be hosting an exhibit by artist Van Walker of Knoxville, Tenn.

If Summitt City sounds just a little bit different than what you might be accustomed to, well, it is.

“What we wanted to do was to create a comfortable space in which people could meet and interact with others from the community,” said owner Joel Beverly, whose engineering firm is located above the restaurant. “We’re hoping to keep it open relatively late, especially on weekends, to give folks a place to hang out.”

While Summitt City has plans to expand its menu to include alcoholic beverages, the offerings for now include an assortment of coffees, muffins, bagels, scones, brownies and fresh fruit.

Beverly said he was “inspired” to open the business in a remodeled downtown building after reading about Western Auto owner Owen W. Wright turning the upstairs of his building into loft apartments. Cheap downtown property and the “atmosphere of growth” now being fostered by Whitesburg’s current city government helped seal the deal, Beverly said.

“We’re hoping this business inspires others in the community to think of creative ways to develop downtown,” said Beverly. “For instance, the Western Auto loft apartments inspired us to do our project. Property in town is cheap and there are many potential businesses that could succeed.”

Beverly said he has heard rumors “of other restaurants, a bowling alley, a farmer’s market, and a butcher shop and fresh seafood market” also looking to locate in Whitesburg.

“The new city government has definitely created an atmosphere of growth for the city,” said Beverly. “It’s exciting.”

According to Beverly, Summitt City will have live music every week. Works by artists from the Appalachian region will be on display monthly, he said.


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