Panorama at the Peak – A Local Foods Gathering Place
After 11 years of ownership, Patti Miller and Leslie Hotaling have announced that Panorama at the Peak Restaurant in Berkeley Springs will be closing on August 21, 2016. “We sketched out a path towards retirement for ourselves in 2005, and now it’s time for us to pass on the stewardship of this incredible property to the next owner,” said Hotaling.
The Panorama Overlook property has a rich history, with Miller and Hotaling being just the third owners of the restaurant. The 60-acre property, whose iconic mountain and Potomac River views over three states have been written about for centuries and preserved in countless photographs, along with the restaurant, two separate living structures, and marked trails that lead to river frontage. “More ‘selfies’ are probably taken at the Overlook than any other place in Morgan County,” Hotaling joked.
The Niner brothers, Paul and Edward, cleared the land in the late 1920’s and built the restaurant on the side of Cacapon Mountain in 1929. Constructed of stone and timbers from the property, art deco influences can still be seen throughout the structure, especially in the custom artwork above the fireplace mantle. Some of the original light fixtures are still in place, and most recently, the handcrafted bar was returned to the restaurant after being in storage at a local home.
Miller, an active local foods advocate, explained, “We couldn’t believe it when we found out this property was for sale and purchased it to preserve the view — it just so happened that it came with a restaurant.” The restaurant ended up being a conduit for their passion. “We’ve been able to educate people about the economic, social, and health benefits of local foods, as well as support local farmers,” she added, “and that won’t stop with retirement. We’ll have the time to get more involved, especially with food security issues.” Patti currently chairs the WV Food and Farm Coalition’s Aggregation Distribution Working Group, and has been at the forefront of the state’s local food movement. She helps facilitate state wide conversation and lobbies for small and local farmers.
Panorama is deeply involved in the work of the Local Food Movement and has been recognized by Bon Appetit Appalachia, WV Tourism’s 101 Unique Places to Dine, Slow Food DC’s Snail of Approval recipient each year since its inception, among others for their consistent and authentic work with local food. Panorama is also a member of the Morgan County Partnership Underage Drinking Task Force in which Leslie volunteers her time as Alcohol Awareness Trainer for Morgan County with the support of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
Many fundraising events have been held at Panorama for groups such as Starting Points, sports teams, and donated to countless community organizations.
The Panorama Overlook property will be offered for sale in the near future by Matt Hurley and Jay Lawyer of Hurley Auctions. For details call their office at 717-597-9100 or toll free at 866-424-3337 or visit them at www.hurleyauctions.com.