This December, the J.C. Wyatt House celebrated 11 years as a restaurant, though the building itself is well over 120 years old.
Owners Jim Pallone and Jeffrey Keyasko traveled from the East Coast to St. Joseph to purchase the historical home, located at 1309 Felix St., which was built for John Cavan Wyatt, an original partner of Townsend, Wyatt and Wall Dry Goods.
It took the pair five years to renovate the building into what it is today, a fine-dining establishment that cooks to reservation specifications and embraces its historical roots.
“It’s a Romanesque revival home,” Keyasko says. “We did some research and looked at what homes would have looked like in the 1890s and found some accoutrements that helped us to do that. We stripped some fireplaces and woodwork, fixed some stained glass and hopefully it looked like it did when it was built.”
J.C. Wyatt House works off reservations, which are usually placed 48 hours in advance. Interested parties can visit the restaurant’s site online, www.jcwyatt.net, to see the menu, which changes every so often, and place an order through a phone call or email.
Roasted salmon and double-cut pork chops are available for dinner at the time of writting, along with other items. Pulled pork sliders and an apple cider chicken entree salad along with a dessert trio also can help quell various appetites.
But there are some items on the menu that remain largely unchanged.
“I would say that our top seller is the filet mignon,” Keyasko says. “We get a really good cut from a butcher, and we change the preparation for it occasionally, but it’s always on the menu, as is our roasted salmon.”
Pallone says he likes the restaurant being a sort of well-kept secret in St. Joseph, and adds it contrasts with the fast-food mentality of today. Yet, with little social media presence, the J.C. Wyatt House still remains busy day to day.
“We’re very busy,” Keyasko says. “(Customers) feel like they’re having a private dinner in someone else’s home versus going out to a restaurant.”
And over the last 11 years, the two have made many friends throughout St. Joseph and were even contacted by TripAdvisor to have their restaurant featured on the site. The J.C. Wyatt House currently holds a 5-star rating, with 97 percent of 168 reviews calling the food and service “excellent.”
“We love our customers, and we have many return customers that come at least once a month,” Keyasko says. “It’s wonderful. It’s a great place to be.”