This wall in the dining room of the Elkhorn Inn was the original exterior when the inn was first built.
This wall in the dining room of the Elkhorn Inn was the original exterior when the inn was first built. (Evening Sun - Meghan Gauriloff)
You might miss the Elkhorn Inn in Bendersville if you're not looking for it.

It blends in with the rest of downtown in an historic building poking up through more modern looking places.

It has been there since 1790, and has always been a good place to stop by for lunch.

Co-owner Bess Hays said that back in the day, it was a long trip between Carlisle and Gettysburg, and those making the trek would often stop for the night at the Elkhorn Inn.

Since traveling is a lot easier now than it was at the turn of the 18th, 19th or 20th centuries, it's worth taking a trip to grab a bite to eat at the historic Elkhorn Inn.

Everything is homemade and made from scratch, Hays said. The menu is a combination of family recipes and recipes that have been staples at the Elkhorn Inn for years and years.

The décor on the inside has a combination of the feel of an old inn and a family restaurant. It's historic and inviting.

Hays and her daughter, Chelsea, had some definite ideas when they became the owners of the restaurant four years ago.

"We wanted to keep it family oriented," she said.

They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. If the special, written on a white board, doesn't appeal to you, there's a whole menu of homemade, comfort food type of items for you to choose from. Families come in for dinner out. Regulars stop by for good food and good conversation.

You should try the beef potpie. That was George Washington's favorite dish. OK, I just made that up, but I'm sure he would have liked it. And if I have anything in common with George Washington besides wooden teeth, it's enjoying the beef potpie, which is a special every Tuesday.

It's potpie in the "slippery" sense, where there is no actual "pie." It's beef and a flour-thickened "broth" served with vegetables and "noodles." The noodles are these thick, doughy bow ties of deliciousness.

If you stop by for dinner, they'll have steaks and seafood. And breakfast is served every day.

Whether you're there for a meal out with the family, or popping in alone on your lunch hour, you'll always feel welcome and have a pleasant time."I like being here everyday," Hays said. "Everyone knows everybody else like one big family."

Ticket to Lunch is a weekly column featuring local restaurants' meals available during the lunch hour. Reach Steve Marroni at

If you go

LOCATION: 101 S. Main St., Bendersville.

HOURS: 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 5:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

OWNER'S PICK: The beef potpie is Tuesday's special, and is a popular selection.

PARKING: Street.

ACCEPTS: No credit cards.



DETAILS: Call 677-4754. It's easy to miss if you don't know it's there. It's located in an historic inn downtown, across the street from the bank. There's a sandwich board outside that advertises when they're open.