If you find yourself in the town of Elkhart hankering for a sophisticated meal in an elegant restaurant with historic character, you’re in luck. The Vine at 214 South Main Street will perfectly fit the bill, and the hand-picked wine list is every bit as elaborate as you’d expect from an establishment named The Vine.
(Photo: The Vine)
The restaurant’s historic setting adds to the attraction. Called one of Elkhart’s most recognizable structures, the 1892 Security Building is a three-and-a-half story Romanesque Revival treasure featuring a rough red sandstone façade, a rounded tower and gabled, copper-clad roof green from a century of oxidation -- and it’s just 22 feet wide.
Beginning life as The McDonald & Co. Securities building, the celebrated edifice served as a bank or financial institution for most of its life. The stately façade exudes an understated grandeur and a stolid permanence that probably made it easier for people to entrust its owners with their money.
Historic structures with so many years under the belt usually have some period of endangerment, when they drift into the perilous seas of disuse, dilapidation and potential demolition. Some don’t survive. “In actuality, 214 South Main was in the best shape of any Main Street building I’ve bought,” says owner Dan Boecher, rehabber of five properties along the historic avenue. Boecher also serves as executive director of Downtown Elkhart, Inc.
Though in need of a comprehensive facelift and repurposing when Boecher purchased it in 2005, The Security was never in serious danger of being scuttled. The U.S. Department of the Interior acknowledged the area’s importance in 1997 when it listed the entire Elkhart Downtown Commercial District, including The Security, in the National Register of Historic Places.
Indiana Landmarks has consulted with Boecher on this and many other area renovation projects over the past decade. Todd Zeiger, Indiana Landmarks’ Northern Regional Director, is delighted at how this one has turned out: “There isn’t better night out than a great meal in a great historic building like The Vine,” he enthuses. “Try the crab dip. You won’t be sorry,” he adds.
Although the building’s no longer a financial institution, you can bank on a terrific evening at The Vine.
You can check out the menu and make reservations online at http://www.thevinesb.com/, or call 574- 970-5006.
About Hidden Gems Indiana
Indiana Landmarks uses insider knowledge to highlight historic places worth a visit, from the quirky to the sublime: small towns, neighborhoods, restaurants, shops, parks, cemeteries, scenic drives, museums -- you get the idea. Learn more about Indiana Landmarks at www.indianalandmarks.org.