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Good Eats: Friendship & Romance Can Still be Found at Stardust Cafe.

Savannah Mae and Dan Perry at Stardust Café in Lewisburg.

The Stardust Café opened its doors on Valentine’s Day in 2005. Since then, the café has solidified its place amongst the elite restaurants in the thriving downtown Lewisburg-area. But Valentine’s Day, it seems, was a most appropriate starting point… 

Stardust has been called a place “where friendships and romance begin, and appetites are satisfied.”

Then on January 21 of this year, the following message appeared on social media:

“The time has come to pass the torch. Next week Stardust will have new owners to love her, and learn with her, and with you.”

The Stardust Café opened its doors on Valentine’s Day in 2005. Since then, the café has solidified its place amongst the elite restaurants in the thriving.

The message was written by now former owner Sparrow Huffman – whose mother had originally named the restaurant for her own mother, as well as Greenbrier County-icon Gwen Clingman. In her message, Huffman went on to say, “We are thrilled to share that the new owners, Savannah and Dan, will hold true to the Stardust vision created so long ago, and with a lot of the same friendly faces. We are so happy for them.”

January 22nd. marked the end of an era in Lewisburg, as it was the last day of the “old Stardust.” However, February 3rd. witnessed the birth of a new era – complete with the promise of a legacy honored. The “new Stardust” was open for business…

“It’s always been a dream of ours to own our own place,” said new owners Savannah Webb and Dan Perry, while speaking with HashtagWV. Residents of White Sulphur Springs, Savannah has a background in sales, while Dan has spent the last 15-years in the food and beverage industry. Dan previously worked for Huffman, serving as manager of both The General Lewis Inn and the Stardust Cafe. And with Savannah now having ownership of the cafe, the “Clingman building” will continue to remain female-owned – just as it has been for the last 82-years. 

“When this was proposed to us, we just jumped on it,” Dan said. “When else are we going to have an opportunity to have our own restaurant, smack dab in the middle of Lewisburg. This is home to us, and the stars aligned.” 

Savannah told us that they hope to introduce a new menu soon, and have begun offering a special prime rib dinner on Fridays. However, longtime customers need not be worried. In addition to featuring a more expansive list of menu options, the old familiar favorites will still be available.

“When we took this place over, the goal was to maintain Stardust,” Dan said. “This building has fed thousands of people, and our goal wasn’t to re-invent the wheel. We want to stay the course, but build on the foundation.”

Both Savannah and Dan guarantee that menu staples such as “Forever Chicken,” and “Trust Me Salad,” as well as many others, are sticking around. “Trust me,” Dan said with a laugh, “They aren’t going anywhere.”

“There’s so much that can be done…I feel like Lewisburg has a great food scene, and I really want to showcase some of the things that we’re able to do here.”

Dan went on to explain that he is looking forward to making more seafood options available at Stardust.

“There’s so much that can be done,” Dan told us. “I feel like Lewisburg has a great food scene, and I really want to showcase some of the things that we’re able to do here.”

“Summers in Lewisburg are always so busy,” Savannah added. “We want to be able to have the summer full of seafood specials. No one around really does seabass, and that’s one of my favorite dishes. I want to add that to the menu – as well as soft-shell crab.”

With Savannah as the principal owner and Dan as head chef, the two function as co-general managers. Their staff includes chefs who are both skilled in classical southern cooking, and experts at infusion, as well as a dedicated team of barbacks, servers and dishwashers. 

“Our chefs also make a mean house-made pimento cheese,” Savannah added.

The majority of the red meats served at Stardust are provided by Swift Level Fine Meats. In addition to the selections prepared in-house, The Stardust Cafe features bread from Jeff Kessler of Jeff’s Breads, and desserts prepared by Stephen Anderson of Appalachian Country Cuisine.

“Our goal is to showcase local farms and local growers, and then show the community what can be done to a high standard with those products,” Dan said. 

Dine-in and carryout, as well as limited catering services are available. Stardust is located at 1023 Washington Street East in Lewisburg. The cafe is open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Dinner hours are Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. 

For more information, or to make a dinner reservation contact The Stardust Cafe at 304-647-3663. The current menu can be viewed by visitingstardustcafewv.com

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Matthew Young has been a resident of Lewisburg, WV since December 2019. Prior to arriving in West Virginia, Matthew resided in the Philadelphia area, where his reporting, commentary, and editorials have been featured in numerous local and regional publications. Previously, he has served as a scriptwriter and consultant for television, radio, and various other short-form digital-media platforms, both within the United States and internationally. Since moving to the Mountain State, Matthew spent eighteen months as senior writer/managing editor for the West Virginia Daily News and is currently an active journalist with the West Virginia Press Association.

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