The Worthington Inn

The other day I had the pleasure of meeting with the owners of The Worthington Inn—sisters Carrie Rohyans and Cassie Lucks and Executive Chef Tom Smith. They shared a little bit about the establishment’s rich history, their philosophy of using locally grown foods, and why Worthington is such a great place to own a business. Here’s what I learned.

History: For starters, The Worthington Inn is no longer an inn (you knew that, right?). Today, in fact, it thrives as a two-sided business that features a restaurant and pub, as well as a private events department. When Cassie and Carrie took over the business operations about seven years ago, it had been in their family since 1980. But one look at the building will tell you that it’s been around for much longer than that.

The Worthington Inn dates back to 1816 when a gentleman from Connecticut came to Worthington, Ohio to seek his fortune. If you’re a history buff, you can get the complete story on the restaurant’s Web site. Just know that the current owners are dedicated to honoring the history and tradition that comes with this great Victorian structure. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way they prepare their foods.

Locally Grown Foods: Think summer strawberries, spring mushrooms, and squash when the nights turn cold. Chef Smith and his co-owners are committed to upholding the time-honored tradition of using as many local, natural and sustainable ingredients as possible. They believe in the farmer-to-chef concept and work hard to feature locally grown fruits, vegetables and meats, as well as Amish free-range eggs and sustainable agriculture. You can see it all on the menu, which changes about four or five times a year to reflect the seasons.

Worthington: “We like the sense of community and camaraderie between the different businesses, business owners and employees. We are all friends,” Cassie says. “And we like the history, sense of tradition and community atmosphere.” As a result, employee turnover at the restaurant is

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low, and teamwork is high. “It’s a very happy place to work,” she adds.

Happy Hours: Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.

Afternoon Teas: For parties of 12 or more.

Thrifty Thursdays: Deeply discounted bottles of wine beginning at 3 p.m.

Live Jazz on Fridays and Saturdays: From 7 to 10 p.m. in the pub.

Sunday Brunch: Buffet served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Farmers Breakfast: Served on Saturdays during the Downtown Farmers Markets.

For more information, including hours of operation, visit