George and Sue Ann Huger purchased The Southern Inn Restaurant in the summer of 1998, and moved with their 7 year old daughter and 3 month old son from Sue Ann’s hometown of Baltimore, Maryland back to George’s hometown of Lexington, Virginia. Although both George and Sue Ann had graduated from Randolph-Macon College, in Ashland, Virginia, George decided to further his education at The Baltimore Culinary Institute, and in doing so, truly discovered his passion for cooking, and his desire to open his own restaurant.
The Southern Inn Restaurant was established in 1932, and had a wealth of history and memories already established well before the Huger’s took over. At the time, the restaurant was in need of a “face lift”. This gave George an opportunity to infuse the restaurant with his own touch, and with vision and devotion immediately began renovating The Southern Inn. Through sheer “blood, sweat, and tears”, the Huger’s gave the restaurant not only an updated look, but a new menu to match as well. After some time, the Huger’s were also able to restore the front of the building and renovate the kitchen. Happily, the Huger’s maintained the historical character and charm of the old building, and were very pleased to showcase the changes at The Southern Inn 75th Anniversary party. Family members of the original owner, George Macheras, were present, along with many members from the community and outlying areas…all with stories and memories to tell of their experiences at The Southern Inn.
A new chapter began at The Southern Inn after the 75th Anniversary. On July 8, 2010, The Southern Inn was almost completely destroyed by a fire that was started by a lightning strike during a terrible storm. With the support of family, friends, and the community, the Huger’s dug in their heels with resolve and re-built The Southern Inn. Again, the Huger’s wanted to maintain the historical character and charm of the old building, but also wanted to add a modern touch in the layout and design. The grand re-opening of The Southern Inn Restaurant took place on July 15, 2011, and the Macheras family, and members from the community and outlying areas were again present to welcome the new chapter at Southern Inn.
The 80th Anniversary for The Southern Inn Restaurant is just about around the corner, and the Huger’s hope for many more chapters yet to come.