Café Cimino has been featured in several newspapers
and travel guides this past summer, but not too many people know of its
connections with Calhoun County.
Tim and Melody Urbanic reside near Chloe. Tim came
to the area in 1973 and Melody came in 1989.
Café Cimino Country Inn is a family business that
spans three generations, from Grandma Cimino, who taught Tim about food
and cooking, to Tim, who taught his son Eli the same traditional Italian
Café Cimino opened on Valentine’s Day in 1999, and
operated in a renovated hardware store for eight years in downtown
Tim Urbanic had a lifelong dream to own his own
Melody said, “For 10 years, we kept driving to
Sutton from our farm in Calhoun County because our daughter Jessi was in
the plays there (at Landmark Studio for the Arts).”
As an amateur chef, Tim would often find himself
pre-paring meals for the guests who would attend the community theater.
His food was so special that he soon had quite a following, and became
more serious about fulfilling his dream.
One day, they were standing in front of an old
hardware store, which was for sale. They realized the beauty of the
surrounding neighborhood, so they used their retirement savings to buy
They worked with the W.Va. Dept. of Historic
Preservation to restore its original authenticity. The unique tin
ceiling and the American chestnut floors provided the setting for the
good food they were capable of preparing. The fulfillment of a dream was
Café Cimino was named for Tim’s maternal side of
the family. Grandma and Grandpa Cimino were Italian immigrants who
taught him about food -- from appreciating the ethnic flavors, to
growing the herbs and vegetables, to cooking the famous Cimino family
Earlier this year, the Urbanics acquired the
103-year-old P.J. Berry Estate at the end of town on the Elk River. It
had operated for a time as a bed and breakfast, but had been vacant for
The Urbanics, family, and staff revived the mansion
so that they could serve their guests in a real “home.” and another part
of the dream was fulfilled.
The family tradition continued, with Executive Sous
Chef Eli working by his father’s side, and Melody working to market the
business and run “the front of the house” where guests enjoyed their
The staff also includes Sous Chef Lee Rush, a
Calhoun resident, and Sous Chef Chad Mathes, a Webster resident.
All specialize in Southern Italian cuisine and
Euro/Mediterranean dishes. Whenever possible, they use organically grown
herbs and vegetables from the family farm and local vendors.
The Inn offers guests 10 beautiful and comfortable
rooms, all with private baths. There are many relaxing spots for memory
The grounds ramble along the river, and with 500
feet of river access, it invites fishermen to try their skill at fly
fishing, as well as trout fishing. There is also canoe and kayak access
adjacent to the Inn.
A secluded country road leads to Sutton Dam, less
than a mile away. Landmark Studio for the Arts is near enough that a
visitor can enjoy a special dinner, cross the street to see a play, and
return to the Inn for dessert and coffee.
The new setting offers space for small groups, as
well as regular dinner guests.
The staff, which includes six wait staff, two
server attendants, two hostesses, a bartender, and a housekeeper, is
attentive to their customers’ needs.
Café Cimino is more than a nice restaurant, it is a
For reservations or information, call 1-877-9CIMINO
(924-6466) or 304-765-2913, or
www.cafeciminocountryinn.com, where all 10 rooms can be viewed,
along with information about the restaurant, menu and inn.