Local businesses pair up for special venture

Published 5:44 pm Friday, May 4, 2018

Two local businesses are pairing up to provide area residents with the perfect menu and place for their special events.

Simply Elegant Catering is pairing with Carter At Main for a new venture. Carter At Main will provide the event space while Simply Elegant Catering will take care of all the food and drink needs.

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Carter At Main is located inside the historic Samuel P. Carter house on East Elk Avenue near Main Street. For some time, owner Linda Whitehead operated her own restaurant at the venue, but her other businesses required more attention, so the restaurant closed.

Betty Barnes, who along with her husband Bobby, owns Simply Elegant Catering, said she often drove by the beautiful, historic home and longed to see it in use once again.

“I want to see this back up and running,” Barnes said. “It is such a great venue. There is nowhere else like it in Elizabethton.”

Now, that wish is coming true as Barnes and Whitehead are pairing their complementary businesses up to provide a full-service event venue.

“We will be providing the food, and she will be managing the event space,” Barnes said.

Barnes has worked in the food industry over the past two decades.

“This is starting our third year full time,” Barnes said of Simply Elegant Catering. “I’ve done it part-time off-and-on for over 20 years.”

“We don’t have a restaurant, we just have a catering business,” she added.

Barnes said she and Whitehead are hoping to begin booking events for the venue soon.

The menu provided by Simply Elegant Catering will feature a variety of fine dining options.

“It’s not going to be full-blown gourmet,” Barnes explained. “It’s going to be a step up above the chain food you can get here.”

Some of the main course menu options that will be available for an event include grilled chicken cordon bleu, herb roasted pork tenderloin, grilled salmon with dill cream sauce, shrimp scampi, and beef tenderloin medallions with burgundy au jus. Some of the side dishes will include roasted potatoes, four-cheese macaroni and cheese, and a variety of vegetables.

Barnes said she will be offering a wide variety of menu items to choose from for events at Carter At Main. Barnes said she will be reviewing the menu once served at Carter At Main to come up with the full menu offerings.

“My catering menu is going to be completely different than the wedding and event menu,” Barnes said.

In addition to full menu events such as weddings, parties, and dinners, the venue will also be available for less formal events.

“We offer customizable options for bridal and baby showers and teas,” Barnes said.

The venue already has a major event scheduled for later this year.

“We’re going to be hosting a bridal show here in September,” Barnes said. “That is going to promote local vendors first and then depending on the space we could open it up to other vendors in the region.”

Anyone interested in booking a special event at Carter At Main and catered by Simply Elegant Catering should contact Betty Barnes at 423-647-7083.