EDINBURG — One of Shenandoah County’s oldest historical landmarks will once again have a restaurant in 2018.
The Edinburg Mill Restaurant is set to open on an as-yet-undetermined date in January, according to co-owner and chef Jason Burns. It will replace the museum’s former eatery, Pixie’s at the Mill, which owner Stephanie Runion closed in November to take care of a sick relative, according to Mayor Dan Harshman.
The restaurant will serve American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner with locally grown ingredients, but the menu has not been finalized, Burns said.
“We’re just getting the walk-in refrigerator put in and waiting on the health permit,” Burns said during a phone interview Friday.
Burns, 36, and co-owner Dennis Stickley Jr., 28, met five years ago and are chefs at Joe’s Steakhouse in Front Royal. They decided to start their own business in early 2016.
“When you work with someone 60 hours a week for a couple of years, you get to know them,” Burns said. “We thought, ‘Why not make a go of it?’”
The mill, built in 1848, narrowly escaped destruction by Gen. Philip Sheridan’s Union forces during his Shenandoah Valley campaign commonly known as “The Burning” during the Civil War. It was converted into a restaurant in 1978 but closed in 1998 due to a lack of funding.
The town and the Edinburg Heritage Foundation purchased the property in 2000 and turned it into a museum of local history. The mill is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a Virginia Historic Landmark.
Burns lives in Woodstock and graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School, while Stickley lives in Strasburg. Harshman helped the pair renovate the mill’s restaurant space soon after Runion vacated it in November.
“We’re excited to get someone back in there that quick,” Harshman said. “We had always planned to downsize it. It originally had space for 400 people with 11 heat furnaces. Now it has two heating units and is a more manageable situation.”
Before Pixie’s moved in, the former restaurant space was used for private parties, including the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner until it moved to the Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire station in 2017.
Burns hopes the combination of good food, a nice setting and local history will bring people out.
“It’ll be a nice place to eat that’s affordable and not too pretentious,” he said. “It’s a great building and a beautiful area. Edinburg’s a nice little town.”