MAYVILLE - The Sweet Spot isn't just a place for some home cooking. It's also a place known to have some historical taste.
The restaurant, located at 4 North Erie St., Mayville was home to the original county clerk's office in 1859, including "The Old Vault." Tim and Darlene Wendell, lifetime Chautauqua County residents, acquired both county buildings. Wendell said the building the county clerk's office was operating in wasn't cutting it back in the 1800s and more space was needed to operate. As a result, a larger building was constructed beside it.
The Wendells' goal was to keep the historical buildings in their original states while enhancing some other aspects that needed attention. Restoration of the original marble floor and keeping the vault door intact were projects done to maintain the historical nature of the building.
Darlene Wendell assists a customer in her cafe, The Sweet Spot.
"We did a few things to the doors and windows out of necessity, but that was pretty much it," Darlene Wendell said. "The floors were covered with carpet since other cafes were operating in the building in the past. So we took off the carpet to get to the old marble flooring."
Before the Wendells, other cafes were operating in half of the larger building. The other half was still owned by the county. The Wendells came in and purchased the buildings from the county to become what's now known as The Sweet Spot. The cafe opened its doors in September 2011. All food served at the restaurant is home-cooked from soups, sandwiches and cheesecakes. They also feature Addie's ice cream.
With the restaurant's home-cooked foods comes a little historical flavor as well.
Wendell mentioned that they found a vaulted ceiling hidden above a drop ceiling, which surprised them. She also said that a historian found documents of a landmark case in the late 1800s, Plessey v. Ferguson. Plessey was arrested for refusing to sit in the black railway carriage car. He went to trial with Justice John H. Ferguson and was found guilty.
"Plessey did a lot with civil rights," she said. "It's neat to find a piece of history in this building."
Wendell loves the history within the building. What she likes even better is meeting people and establishing relationships. Many people come in to eat, including attorneys and judges. She said that she knows what they're going to order before they even look at the menu.
"The biggest thing for us is that we want to make people feel like they're home," Wendell said. "We want to know their first names. We enjoy baking and cooking, but getting to know our guests and socializing with people is what we love to do. We love the hometown feeling."
Work is currently underway on the smaller building next to where the cafe is located. The plan is to have a parlor serving Addie's ice cream ready to go next year.
photo in Photos:august - Sweet Spot 1