In 1818, George and Elizabeth Moore built a new house in which to raise their future family. Their youngest daughter, Mariah, would go on to spend her entire life in the home her parents had bequeathed to her. When Rick Kelley and David Sears decided to transform the historic residence into a restaurant nearly a century after her passing, they chose the name to honor its longest-term resident. They also added a 3,000-square-foot expansion and restored the fireplaces, wood flooring, and brick walls to their original appearance.
Thanks to these refurbishments, Mariah?s old home seems to have found new life in the 21st century. Where she used to cook, chefs now hand-cut steaks and slide thin-crust pizzas into a large brick oven for firing. As Bowling Green's oldest standing brick structure, the nearly 200-year-old Mariah Moore House offers diners much to gaze at if they can pry their eyes away from the hearty fare on their plates. The building?s historic accents include a Brunswick bar top from the 1880s, an aged carousel horse, and a TV-video wall salvaged from Grover Cleveland?s presidential situation room.
Housed within the restored 1893 Fletcher House, The Bistro honors the spirit of Bowling Green's Fountain Square and historic downtown with a menu of refined American cuisine. However, in the American tradition, the chefs also look abroad for culinary inspiration, finding room for lots of dishes from Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean. Those influences shine through in dishes such as the chicken piccata and the lobster ravioli with champagne-leek cream sauce. Hand-cut rib eye steaks and herb-marinated pork chops represent a classic supper-club spirit, while beignets stuffed with crabmeat and shrimp and grits spiked with bloody-mary sauce celebrate The Bistro's Southern roots.
Walls of moss-green brick surround the rich cherry wood tables and chairs that fill the ground-level dining room, lit by glowing pendant lamps. A piano invites occasional live music, which drifts upstairs to a more intimate private dining space. Behind a rustic wooden bar lies a worldly collection of wines, which includes bottles from California and Oregon as well as France, Argentina, Australia, Italy, and Atlantis.
As a child, CeCe looked forward to her family’s summertime trips to North Carolina, where she could reconnect with faraway relatives over cookouts. One of her fondest memories from this time is making homemade blackberry ice cream with her Grandma Ruby. Years later, CeCe would look back on these days with nostalgia; she dreamt of opening a business that would bring families together over a tasty summertime treat.
In 2008, her dream became a reality with the opening of Sweet CeCe’s. Like wig salesmen to the Constitutional Convention, families flocked to the self-serve frozen-yogurt shoppe, where they could create their own desserts from dozens of yogurt flavors and toppings. The small shoppe got so popular that CeCe franchised the business. Today, families in 11 states can create sweet memories within the sherbet-colored walls of a Sweet CeCe’s.