The building housing the Old Stone Inn has been in Shelbyville, Kentucky since the 1800’s. Some say 1790, but the local historian reportedly informed a restaurateur there that claiming that on the menus was incorrect. The building has been home to the Old Stone Inn under various management since the 1920’s. The most recent incarnation, The Eleanor Hamilton Old Stone Inn, closed Saturday.
Owner/operator Christopher Kayrouz said that he had hit a burnout stage and was resurrecting himself over and over to keep it going. He said he enjoyed the nice community, but he’s ready to move back to Louisville, where he plans to do something with a restaurant in September. In the meantime, he’s ready to keep taking some flying lessons.
“I’m fine with it,” he said. “I really enjoyed it, because I lived in the building as well. It’s not everyday you can live in a 1700s era home. I had it for about 14 months, but sometimes you have to use your brain and stop when it’s time to stop.”
Although he can’t disclose who yet, someone else is already in line to lease the space and take over the guardianship of this culinary tradition. The building and name “Old Stone Inn” belong to the Purnell family (who owns Old Folks Sausage), and the lease has some strict stipulations like using “Old Stone Inn” in the name, and the menu having to keep a Southern theme. Under Kayrouz, the menu had traditional Southern dishes but an Italian flare.
Kayrouz said the Purnell family came in last year and put all new kitchen equipment in and updated the refrigeration and building, adding a new bar as well. He said they’ve been an amazing family to work with, and the restaurant isn’t gone forever.
“I think people will be pleased with the next person coming in,” Kayrouz assured me. “It’s going to keep going – it’s not going to stop. It’s someone else’s turn.”