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New restaurant on the block: Lilah opens ahead-of-time, offers takeout, diverse menu

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Dec 4, 2020

Sonya and Jon Deiches, of Shepherdstown, check out Lilah's menu on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The doors of 115 East German Street have been closed since the summer, leaving Shepherdstown with one less food destination to attract food lovers and tourists alike to its business district. But on Tuesday, all of that changed, when Lilah opened its doors for takeout and curbside service.

The business derives its name from owner Connie Heyer’s six-year-old blood hound and rottweiler mix dog, Lilah, who passed away from bone cancer last year. In honor of Lilah, the restaurant currently features a mixture of trendy and dog-themed elements — perfectly in tune with Shepherdstown’s dog-friendly mentality.

According to Heyer, the restaurant’s executive chef, Kevin Longmire, and much of its staff, previously worked together at Final Cut Steakhouse in Charles Town. Longmire’s menus are been carefully crafted on a seasonal basis to satisfy the varied palates of Shepherdstown’s residents.

“Shepherdstown’s very diverse. We have people who have different food preferences, such as vegan and vegetarian, gluten free,” Heyer said. “In addition, even though we’re in West Virginia, a lot of people are very familiar with and like international cuisine. Our tagline is ‘Food. Drink. Community.’ We wanted the restaurant’s menu to reflect what the community likes here and offer a little bit of everything.”

That “little bit of everything” includes everything from vegan ice cream sandwiches, to in-house cured bacon, to wood-fired pastas and flatbreads. At the end of its first day in business, it appeared to already be a hit with local residents.

Lilah opened on Tuesday, at 115 East German Street. Tabitha Johnston

“We had a great first day! Thank you to all that came out to support us!” Heyer said, Tuesday night on Facebook. “We feel blessed to bring a little bit of culinary joy to our community during this holiday season!”

Even before the restaurant’s opening, on Saturday afternoon, Shepherdstown residents were lining up at its door to check out its menu.

“I’m very excited for wood-fired pizza!” said Leslie Craybill, of Shepherdstown, as she and her husband studied the restaurant’s menu. “We were sad to see Domestic go.”

Her husband, G.F. Craybill, shared her excitement for the new restaurant.

“We’re going to plan on eating takeout when they open,” he said, mentioning he was glad Lilah, like the restaurant preceding it, was going to feature modern American cuisine.

As soon as the Craybills finished looking at the menu, Jon and Sonya Deiches, of Shepherdstown, stepped up to take their place.

“We’re excited about this place! I don’t eat meat, so I’m actually thrilled [about their vegetarian and vegan options],” Sonya said, mentioning she was glad to see the restaurant was offering pho, making it the first restaurant in town to do so. “It sounds really good, and I’m very excited!”

Jon said having the space filled with another restaurant is exactly what he had hoped would take place.

“You can never have too many restaurants!” Jon said. “We come down here to shop and for the restaurants, even though we live a mile away. We were bummed about all of the restaurants we were losing [in town], so it’s nice to have this opening here!”

Lilah plans to open for socially distanced in-house service on Jan. 5. To learn more or place an order, visit www.lilah-restaurant.com or call 304-870-4038.