By MARINA WATERS
There’s more than a fair share of history within the walls of the Historic Eureka Inn in Downtown Jonesborough, but now the Main Street mainstay is offering something new — brunch through their latest food venture, Eureka Bites.
The Eureka offers breakfast-meets-lunch items from 8 to 11 a.m. Friday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. For Innkeeper Katelyn Yarbrough, Eureka Bites is the perfect way to fill a need and extend what they’re already doing at the Eureka — which is tending to those sitting at their tables in the morning.
“There is a definite need (for restaurants) in Jonesborough and you can’t just pop up a dinner restaurant,” Yarbrough said. “So we kind of waited to see what our little niche would be and we already serve a full southern breakfast to our guests who stay overnight.
“We would get people coming in off the streets saying, ‘Oh, can we buy breakfast?’ And we didn’t want to take away from the guest experience until we actually knew how to take care of both aspects.”
Though it started as breakfast from Thursday through Sunday, Eureka Bites now offers everything from BLTs and chicken salad to classic breakfast items like homemade biscuits and gravy and pancakes, all listed on their handwritten menu.
“We felt like we were ready for this so we started it,”Yarbrough said. “It’s gotten pretty successful so now we’re having to rework things again which is pretty exciting.”
But Eureka Bites doesn’t just offer a place for hungry Jonesboroughians to take a minute and fill their tanks; Yarbrough explained that Eureka Bites also offers a way for Yarbrough and her husband Blake to give people the opportunity to see the inside of the historic building.
“We’re always trying to get people into the hotel because there were many many years when you couldn’t really get in there to look around,” Yarbrough said. “Since Blake and I took over, we try to have the doors open and we want people to come in. We never mind to show people around. And if we’re busy in the back making breakfast, we’ll tell them they’re welcome to take a look around.”
When they’re not making brunch for hotel guests and hungry passersby, Yarbrough said the Eureka will also be bringing back Friday Night Bites during the summer to go along with the Music on the Square schedule. That weekly event will offer a different food theme such as tacos or barbecue while guests can spend time in the Eureka’s courtyard.
Until then, the Eureka aims to keep serving up breakfast and lunch items in a way Yarbrough hopes is welcoming and different from what one might picture when they think of brunch at a historic inn.
“With Eureka Bites, it’s our little thing we want people to enjoy. We like serving breakfast, we like serving people and meeting new people,” Yarbrough said. “We didn’t go with the victorian theme, historic Jonesborough kind of theme — it’s a little quirky and a little weird. I think people have an appreciation for that in Jonesborough and the Tri-Cities. I didn’t want to conform to what every one expected it to be.”