Feature Photo (above) by Alex Grace
By Nick Carter
There is a draw to the Midwest unlike any other area of this grand nation. Many of those who have grown up here and moved away return and find themselves trudging new footprints in old tracks. The “curse of the Midwest,” as it is jokingly called, is not so much a curse but a blessing that compels those who have ventured outside the borders of the Heartland to return home once again, urbane wisdom in tote, and inspire their homeland to adopt a fresh approach to tradition. Thus was the path of Justin Westmoreland, who decided to renovate, reimagine and reopen Jeeves & Company, an institution that had breathed life into the community of Scottsburg.
Experiences in Louisville, Nashville, New York City and Detroit were all tucked under Justin’s belt when he returned to his hometown. Having had a career in corporate technology his entire professional life, the Purdue University graduate decided to purchase The Coffee House, an already established business located in the town square, and grow it into a staple of the community. Shortly after acquiring the business, Justin turned it from being “just a coffee shop” into a thriving café featuring specialty coffees, pastries and lunch.
Soon, Justin realized the community lacked in a solid, independently-owned restaurant that featured a variety of choices and fresh ingredients. So, with the seed planted, Justin made the decision to move the coffee café into a space seven times larger than its current home and bring the property formerly known as Jeeves & Company back to its original glory. But this time it would be known as Jeeves.
Chris and Ruby Wakeman opened Jeeves & Company in 1986. It was an immediate success from its inception, becoming a shining star in the Scottsburg business scene. Featuring fine dining and a retail space, the hotspot would eventually be named one of the top grossing restaurants in America by Forbes. However, in 2012, after 25 years of business, the Wakemans decided to step away and sell the restaurant. After the deal was made, the eatery was turned into an English-style pub/sports bar but closed its doors just six short months later. The neighborhood missed the restaurant, and Justin wanted to give this back to them.
Westmoreland wanted to use every inch of the 12,000 square foot property, paying homage to its former owners, but also turn it into a community center and common house for the citizens of Scottsburg. Justin wanted a place that could service virtually every aspect of community life, so he drew up the idea of the six branches that will eventually become a whole Jeeves: The Coffee House at Jeeves (which opened in 2014), The Bistro at Jeeves (which opened this summer), The Shops, The Grand Ballroom, The Salons and The Tea Room. Do you want to get some dinner? Let’s go to Jeeves. How about a coffee? Let’s go to Jeeves. Getting married? Let’s go to Jeeves. Justin and his team can handle it, from ceremony to reception.
If you are fortunate enough to be one of the regulars at The Coffee House, then you know chances are manager Connie Richie already has your coffee made for you. And if you’re not careful, she may be able to talk you into staying a little longer to have the chicken salad for lunch. And with a name like The Best Chicken Salad Sandwich Ever, how could you not want oblige? (I had to try it for myself, and it definitely lives up to the name.) If you are too busy to actually come in and relax in the cozy, newly-renovated space, don’t worry because The Coffee House offers catered boxed lunches for you and your entire staff. Oh, and you might as well go ahead and have them throw in one of their award-winning meringue pies. Try the Chocolate Meringue. You won’t be sorry.
Looking for something a little more sophisticated? Jeeves features a delicious dinner menu at The Bistro. Dishes include Wild Mushroom Risotto, Vegetable Pasta and even a Tuna Ceviche. Justin also asked Executive Chef Clayton Elliot to bring back to life some of the dishes that appeared on the original Jeeves & Company menu, including the Pecan-Crusted Bourbon Chicken with Garlic Mash and Sugar Snap Peas. The Bistro hosts regular events such as Wine Down Wednesdays and Craft Beer Thursdays, which will feature an eclectic small plates menu, as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and a monthly Sunday Buffet.
64 S. Main St.
Scottsburg IN 47170
Above photos by Alex Grace of Graceful Images
Above photos by Nick Carter