SUNBURY — Scott Willard said his Chestnut Street Inn is all about people eating, talking to each other and not worrying about television or cell phones.
Willard, 59, of Sunbury, is no stranger to the kitchen as he has operated and owned eateries for the past 20 years, including the reopening of the Chestnut Street Inn in 2015.
“It started off very slow and I was more interested in having a small bar, but that quickly transformed into a full kitchen again for me,” he said. “But I am grateful and happy that so many of my friends and customers continue to come back.”
Willard wanted something different since his last restaurant, The Glass Onion, formerly on Market Street, closed in 2012.
Willard then went to cook for the Edison Hotel for the next few years when an opportunity to re-open the Chestnut Street Inn came to be.
With that Willard decided to try something a bit different, creating a menu that changes daily.
“I wanted to be different and offer certain foods on different days and when it’s gone, it’s gone,” he said.
Willard also doesn’t allow any food sit around, he said.
“I go each day shopping,” he said. “Everything I get and make is fresh that day.”
Willard begins his day at around 8 a.m., going shopping for whatever he decides to be on the menu that day. From there, he arrives at the Chestnut Street Inn at around noon and begins to prepare meals for his customers, who will begin arriving at around 4 p.m.
Employee Barb Cook said: “I have been with him from the beginning and I just love how he is so prepared and ready to go. It’s always great to see what he comes up with each day.”
Willard does not have a television in the restaurant — nor does he have a clock.
“I want people to sit with each other and talk,” he said. “It seems to be working because I don’t see many people come in and look at cell phones. I see them talking to each other.”
Sunbury Mayor Kurt Karlovich said he has visited the establishment.
“I tried some of the food and the dinner is extremely delicious,” he said. “It is a fun and relaxing atmosphere.”
The Chestnut Street Inn does not have a phone number and encourages people to visit them on Facebook to check out the daily meals. Hours of operation are Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. or until the food runs out. And a reminder from the owner — the hours will vary from time to time.