WILLIAMSBURG W.Va. (WVDN) – The town of Hillsboro in Southeast Pocahontas County has a new restaurant with a menu of creative sandwiches, burgers and dinner entrees that are taste adventures.
The chef, Blair Campbell, has had a few restaurant experiences in the area and is a talented kitchen manager. Campbell has teamed up with Terrell McSweeny, who has renovated the kitchen and restaurant building on Roue. 219, running through Hillsboro.
McSweeny came to the Greenbrier Valley area in the late 1990s between undergrad and graduate school. She wanted time to work for some volunteer agencies and chose this area. While there, she fell in love with a local boy and with the Pocahontas people.
After completing her education, McSweeny worked for Allegheny Mountain Radio as a news director and married Ralph Burns, who had a farm in Hillsboro. Ralph was interested in restoring the elegant structure in town, which used to be a general store with a masonic lodge on the second floor, back when the area was called Academy.
Historic photos of the town in the early 1900s, while the Academy was the largest building and a site of education, are displayed in the restaurant today. There is a virtual museum in the building itself and a display of photos and artifacts on the shelves lining the dining area.
McSweeny took the years during the COVID slowdown to renovate the parts of the building that were suffering the most, primarily the kitchen from foundation to roof.
Named after a Scottish tradition, the Public House has been considered an establishment for travelers and locals where food was provided, and sometimes alcoholic drinks. This Hillsboro Public House is primarily food while they await their liquor license. Plans are to have the pub aspect include nighttime spirits and entertainment very soon.
McSweeny’s two children attend area upper schools and have been instrumental in the successful recruitment of high school students as the front house staff this past summer. McSweeny said, “This is the first job for many of them, and they have really done a fabulous job of serving the public. Now school is back in session we are working to keep shifts for them during the after school hours.”
There is a lot of “family” in this operation. McSweeny’s daughter is one of the front house servers, and Campbell’s sister was filling in the school time shift the day this reporter visited the business.
Memorialized on the menu are McSweeny’s mother and father-in-law. “Ruby Burns” is a sandwich similar to a Reuben, but Campbell’s culinary skills have created a superior version. The “Big Dick Burger” is named for Dick Burns, and it contains only locally grown beef.
Rose’s Farm beef and Bootstraps Farm vegetables are featured in many dishes. The restaurant’s hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Experienced kitchen staff is being sought right now, so if you want to call before you come by to pick up an employment application, call 304-653-2646.
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