A longtime Thomson tradition is undergoing a makeover as renovations to the lounge area in the White Columns Inn near completion.
Dining guests will now have two options for a meal -- the traditional Plantation House dining room or the adjacent Stirrup Cup Lounge.
Pete Bishop works on a chandelier in the Stirrup Cup Lounge at White Columns Inn.
Patrons who want to watch the game, browse on their laptops or just enjoy a relaxed meal with family or friends can do all that in the newly-renovated Stirrup Cup Lounge, which is connected to the dining room by French doors, said Epp Wilson, owner.
The upscale bar and grill will offer the same quality fare available in the dining room, including some new hors d'oeuvres like fried oysters and a plantation sampler of chicken fingers, mozzarella cheese sticks, jalapeno poppers and potato skins.
Prices for appetizers, which also include other offerings like buffalo shrimp, wings, fried mushrooms and pepper crusted chicken, start at $5.99
"We are very pleased to be upgrading the lounge area and adding an extensive appetizer menu," said Epp Wilson, owner. "It will offer a place to have some fellowship with good friends while enjoying a meal or snack."
The new dÈcor, a blend of leather, polished wood, artwork, new carpet and drapes, will offer a relaxing place for computer work with the convenience of high speed internet hookups and wireless access, which is available throughout the building.
A polished oak bar offers plenty of seating near the big screen television, and new chandeliers add more light. A plush leather sofa and chairs tucked around the corner fireplace bring in the feeling of a home study or den, and plenty of tables throughout the room can accommodate families or groups.
For those who smoke, the lounge will serve as a restful area to unwind.
"The smoke filters have been doubled to accommodate smokers so they can enjoy the lounge section of the dining room," Mr. Wilson said.
The lounge, with a capacity of 55, is also well-suited for business meetings.
In keeping with the latest design of successful neighborhood bars and lounges, the Stirrup Cup will not host a live DJ, Mr. Wilson said.
"We looked at the most successful chains, and none has a DJ. Instead, the format is upbeat and friendly - a place where you can watch the game, order a meal or join the family."
Renovations are nearing completion, and diners are already using the lounge during lunch and dinner.
The bar at the Stirrup Cup Lounge opens at 4 p.m.