By Valerie Werkmeister
A new restaurant is breathing life into the former Allison’s Healthcare Nursing Home at 187 S. Locust Street in Poseyville. As the saying goes, ‘As one door closes, another one opens,’ certainly rings true in this case. The facility closed its doors a few years ago and sat empty until it was purchased last fall by Poseyville residents, James and Chris Eaton.
After many gallons of new paint, new floors and a new grill were installed, the couple has opened the cafeteria portion of the nursing home structure into The Tail Gate Restaurant.
The menu features made-to-order burgers, chicken fingers, chicken sandwiches, fries, nachos, bosco stix, pop, coffee and various flavors of shaved ice including Pina Colada, Blue Raspberry and Watermelon, to name a few.
The reasonable prices will not only appeal to the younger crowd’s pocketbooks, but also to anyone looking for a fresh, quality burger without leaving Poseyville. The details that set the restaurant apart from others is that it hopes to cater to the young adults and teens in the area by providing a bully-free, safe environment for them to hang out.
“Having raised three boys, with my youngest currently being 15, the biggest complaint I hear is that the kids are just bored here, “ Chris said. “There’s nothing for them to do.”
The lawn outside the restaurant has a volleyball net and cornhole boards, which have also been played inside during inclement weather. A large-screen TV and free Wi-Fi are also available for patrons to enjoy.
The story behind the restaurant’s name harkens back to a time in the Eaton’s life when they enjoyed sitting outside, on the back of their pickup truck, with the tailgate down. They would visit with family and friends while sitting on the tailgate, just enjoying each other’s company.
Pictures of vintage trucks and signs adorn the dining room walls adding to the automobile theme. There are ample tables and chairs for many patrons to enjoy their meal while dining in a smoke-free environment.
The building has special memories for James who remembers visiting the nursing home Tuesday evenings with his parents, Sam and Lois Eaton, while his father preached sermons for the residents.
Opening a restaurant is a first-time venture for the Eatons, but they view it as a means to their other passion – antiques. They are self-described ‘auction addicts’ and have housed many of their purchases in other parts of the building. The rooms in the former nursing home side of the structure now serve as climate-controlled storage. The storage units have 24-hour access. Chris hopes to someday open her own antique store within the facility and allow the restaurant to expand its menu to include fresh bakery items.
“I really think something like that would go well in Poseyville,” Chris said.
The restaurant has only been open a week and has already received thumbs-up reviews from its customers, some of whom have already returned a second time. They will be open Tuesday – Friday from 3 – 9 p.m. and from noon – 9 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. However, it will be available for private party rental on those days.
“People can rent the facility for their children’s birthday parties, going away parties or even small reunions. Folks are welcome to bring their grills and use the outside lawn area for their party,” they said.
On June 1, the restaurant will extend their hours of operation from noon – 9 p.m. The Tail Gate Restaurant is on Facebook under that name and they can also be reached by phone at 812-270-2035.
By Valerie Werkmeister
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