The Eastwood Inn
As soon as [the loan officer] came here, things came together pretty quickly for me. The Progress Fund realized that there was a real opportunity here.
New to Ligonier, Drue Spallholz and his wife got a tip about a “weird spot” on the edge of town. No neon. Reservations only. You’re buzzed in. Then you’re immersed in dark wood, classic food, top-shelf whiskey – you’d almost expect to see Frank Sinatra at the corner table. “There is a kind of mysterious nature about it, because it was once a speakeasy,” says Drue. “I was just in love with the place walking through the door.” The owner was looking to sell. Drue had food experience and an entrepreneurial yearning. He vowed to own The Eastwood Inn.
The first bank wouldn’t lend enough. “The second bank was just a flat-out no, which was almost the end of it,” says Drue. But the St. Vincent College Small Business Development Center told him about The Progress Fund. A loan officer visited the inn, and from there “things came together pretty quickly for me,” Drue says. The Progress Fund loaned $310,000.
Drue and his wife, Erica Nuckles, have added locally produced meats, cheeses and jams to the menu. They’re reaching out to the community – while retaining the door buzzer. “I don’t want to be exclusive,” Drue says. “But I want my customers to feel that they are part of an exclusive group when they eat here.”
The Progress Fund is an equal opportunity provider and employer.View Story as PDF