The 1863’s History

The history of our building is rich and varied. As we follow the path of the numerous businesses that have been housed in what is now the 1863 Appalachian Bistro, we know that the first business incorporated in our facility goes back to 1949.

Elkins Motor Lodge Business Card
Inside The Viking Bar, 1967

The Elkins Motor Lodge and The Viking Club was owned by a local physician, Dr. Leonard, until sometime in the late 60s the business became The Elkins Motor Lodge and 1863 Tavern, owned and operated by Susan Channell. It was the premiere dining spot for locals and visitors on their way to skiing at Canaan Valley, Snowshoe, and Timberline.

Postcard (Front)
Postcard (Back)

A postcard for the original Elkins Motor Lodge and 1863 Tavern.  The restaurant was located downstairs in the bottom of the large building, with rooms upstairs and in the 5 cottages up the hill.

Giant Wall Mural
Typical Civil War woods battle scene
Décor featured Civil War memorabilia

As 1863 is the year that WV seceded from Virginia and was ratified as a state, the restaurant décor featured Civil War memorabilia.  A giant mural covering one wall of what is now the 1863 Appalachian Bistro bar depicts a typical Civil War woods battle scene.

ML Building
Dinner Plate

The 1863 Tavern was known for its delicious steaks and famous homemade cinnamon rolls, made by Chef Joe Kelley and Polly Kirkpatrick respectively.  Polly made the cinnamon rolls for 15-20 years before Chef Joe assumed the mantle of cinnamon roll responsibility. Fifty years later, we use the same recipe.  Just recently, the 1863 Appalachian Bistro brought back the cinnamon roll as part of its pre-dinner bread basket.

IJ Hotel

In 2013, the Elkins Motor Lodge  and 1863 Tavern was purchased by Kenny and Beverly Sexton, Sharon and Lloyd Teter, and James and Elaine Douglas.  A complete remodel of the property renamed the Elkins Motor Lodge to The Isaac Jackson Hotel, a 61-bed boutique hotel with great views of downtown Elkins.  The 1863 Tavern became the 1863 Grill, catering to Kansas City BBQ enthusiasts. This was a partnership designed to complement The American Mountain Theatre, which was located in the Elkins Railyard and offered Branson-style music theatre entertainment to locals and tourists alike.


The remodeled Isaac Jackson Hotel and 1863 Grill. The project was complete is 2013.

Bistro sign

In  2018, Mike and Velora Winn leased the restaurant from the owners of The Isaac Jackson Hotel and the 1863 Grill and renamed it 1863 Appalachian Bistro to reflect their food philosophy and to showcase their Appalachian roots and passion for Celebrating All Things West Virginia.