From its origins as a rest stop for weary travelers in the 1880s, the Banta Inn has come a long way.
Today, owners Dave Colli and Henry Tosta are gearing up for a season of entertainment, family dinners and a younger generation of patrons.
Lifelong friends, the two bought the building a year ago and will celebrate their one-year anniversary of ownership Aug. 25 with a celebration barbecue.
“It’s a great venue. They’re doing wonderful things with it,” said Sharon Martinelli, who’s hard at work planning the entertainment schedule for the spruced-up inn.
Colli expects the busy calendar will help liven up what has become in recent years a boring, even gloomy place to be.
“The place hasn’t really changed over the years,” he said. “It was just kind of there. I really haven’t changed the atmosphere too much as far as the décor, but we’ve lightened up the attitude.”
Colli and Tosta sectioned off the bar and installed a door directly from the parking lot to the dining area to give the place more of a family-friendly appeal.
They also plan to bring in a new entertainer every weekend, host parties and beginning this Sunday, invite families over for weekly all-you-can-eat spaghetti feeds.
Both Colli and Tosta grew up in the small town on the outskirts of
“It’s better than it being bought out by someone else. It’s a major part of Banta, and quite the place back in the day,” said Colli, a farmer and owner of a local stable.
The inn now has an outdoor fire pit, a stage and seating for more than 100 people.
At a glance
WHAT: Five Buck BBQ
WHEN: Aug. 25
WHERE: Banta Inn