JEFFERSON - Downtown Jefferson now has its first coffee shop and a new historic hotel, thanks to the recent renovation and re-opening of the Historic Kahn Saloon.
Owner Eric Carter and General Manager Diane Baker have now opened the doors of the historic former saloon in downtown Jefferson.
The newly renovated 5,000 sq. ft. building contains a Java Dave's Coffee Shop and restaurant on the first floor and four newly constructed hotel rooms on the second floor, along with an owner's suite for Carter.
"I've been coming to Jefferson for years to visit and I had always wanted an apartment overlooking this downtown street," Carter said Friday. "I put an offer in on this place and after two years I got a call asking if I was still interested."
Carter purchased the building in April 2016 and immediately went to work with Jefferson Contractor Joe McDonald gutting the building and rebuilding.
Carter said the hotel and coffee shop came about by chance.
"I really love drinking coffee and there was not anywhere to get a Starbucks type coffee around here so I decided to open a coffee shop and then decided on the hotel rooms too," he said.
The building now offers one king bed efficiency hotel room with a kitchenette and three queen bedrooms. The rooms range from $89 a night to $135 a night, depending on the day of the week.
An elevator system and first floor offices are also currently being constructed.
Baker said the hotel and coffee shop was going to start out with a soft opening for Mardi Gras but things went so well they just decided to stay open.
"It's gone really well so far," Baker said. "We were booked up for Mardi Gras and our hotel rooms are actually completely booked up from now on for Mardi Gras. We've had quite a few people come in for our coffee and restaurant as well."
In the Java Dave's Coffee Shop and restaurant, a variety of drinks, sandwiches, salads, desserts and soups are served.
The restaurant also offers breakfast daily and also sells beer and wine.
"We are licensed to sell beer and wine off and on premise," Baker said. "People can drink their drinks here or buy them and take them off premise."
Baker said in addition to the restaurant and coffee shop doing well, the response to the building's renovation has been positive as well.
The building is mostly all new construction now but it's been built in the style of the 1850s as a tribute to the saloon's former glory days and the year it was constructed.
Carter said it's been interesting living in the notoriously haunted historic building which serves as the first stop on Jodi Breckenridge's Jefferson Ghost Walk Tour.
"There's a lot of history here," Carter said. "When we were replacing the roof, we found a spot where there was fire damage. The only recorded fire in this building was in 1868. This was a cotton warehouse at the time and the Union troops had just occupied Jefferson so the locals burned the town."
Carter and Baker said they've also experienced evidence of the building's former occupants who haven't left.
"One night, I was laying on the couch in the living room and someone started banging on my door real hard," Carter said. "I've got cameras all over the building so I pulled up the app on my phone to look at the camera out there and there was nobody there. I got up and opened the door and there was nobody there. That's happened to me twice."
Carter said a film crew called Silvercreek Pictures is set to come film a paranormal program at the building in a couple of weeks.
The crew will be looking into the stories of the ghosts in the building like "Billy," the ghost of a little blond headed boy who still thinks he lives upstairs, Carter said.
"There was also a priest that died in the stairwell," Baker said. "After being stabbed repeatedly, he made it back here because the building was a monastery at the time. He started up the stairs and supposedly, blood stains can be seen sometimes on the stairs."
The crew will have several psychics with them when they come for filming.
The coffee shop and restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.