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The Towne House: A new take on an old favorite
The town House
The cook, John Hastie, is pictured with owners Anne Hastie and Kyle Benjamin.

DARLINGTON – It had always been a dream for Anne Hastie to own a restaurant and when the Coffee Cup came up for sale, everything seemed to fall into place.

“I want this to be a place where people can find community and enjoy their time together. That is why I really like the name The Towne House,” Hastie stated.

Hastie and her boyfriend, Kyle Benjamin, are both from the Chicago area but Anne’s family has lived in Darlington for 20 years. Anne lived here in 2012 for a couple years and fell in love with the place.

“Anytime I had more than a couple days off I came up here. It is such a great place, very calming and kind. It was my favorite getaway,” Anne said.

She worked in Chicago as a professional nanny for 20 years and loved her job. She specialized with infants and toddlers but wanted to have something she could invest into.

“I loved helping families be the best family but at the end of the day, when the children went off to preschool, I was starting with a new family.”

Hastie mentioned she does a lot of baking but does more savory items such as homemade breads and bagels. That is one-thing customers will be able to expect when they step into The Towne House.

“Everything is fresh. This is a scratch kitchen. We will make everything that can be made. We want to serve really great food in a really great environment.”

One thing the restaurant will try to feature as much as possible is local cuisine. Anne stated how she is trying to use local foods, local art and she used local contractors to help with remodeling the place.

“Why wouldn’t I? This is such a great area. I want to utilize all the shops in the area. It is a cool way to get to know the community and the great people.”

Renovations may have taken a bit longer than expected but Hastie and Benjamin, along with other family members and many people in town, are happy that it is completed. Hastie hopes to be here for decades and the place was worth redoing now. She wanted an inviting, fresh space but wanted to keep the old esthetic.

“We wanted to restore it and make it a space that can be functional for the next several years.”

Some of the major changes can be seen in the removal of the sitting bar and creating a counter bar with stool seating. The booths are all new, along with updated lighting and ceiling.

The hours will be similar to what The Coffee Cup was (5 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. -12 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) with the hope that later on they will expand.

“Expansion is something we want to do. We want to do Thursday, Friday and Saturday night dinners. We want to be available as much as we can.”

Once they get the place up and running, Hastie would love to be able to share the space with the community during the off hours.

“We spent a lot of effort on the décor and renovating the place that if people want to rent it out on our off hours for bridal showers or baby showers, we would do that. I would love to share the space with the public.”

Both Anne and Kyle understand the long legacy that is tied with The Towne House name and know they are “stepping into some big shoes to fill”. They are super excited for the adventure and grateful for all the help they have received from local contractors, previous staff (which they have retained), family, and friends and any new patrons.

“This is a step up from a regular diner. It is going to be a great diner with great breakfast and lunch food. We hope everyone enjoys their time here.”