New restaurant looks to continue impacting Ardmore in historic building

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - The owners of the new Mill Street Tavern in downtown Ardmore say they hope to impact the city of Ardmore as much as the long standing business once housed in the building.

Co-owner Tim Longest said the building on 24 Mill St. was the home of the Berryhill Tin Shop from the late 1800's to 1992, which worked with metal, building everything from cisterns to cattle troughs.

Longest said many properties in the area still influenced by the four generations of Berryhills.

"The older homes have guttering, flashing, duct work, and so this family, the Berryhills, it's really important this building continue on in its history," Longest said. "It touched a lot of lives."

Descendants of Frank Berryhill, the original owner, presented a photo of the four generations to the owner of Mill Street Tavern.

"They came down and presented it to all the partners in the group and it's a real honor for us," Julie Longest said. "They're very into genealogy and the history of this place and Ardmore."

Co-owner Deborah Balak said the farm to table restaurant is a place to showcase the best of Ardmore.

"We saw that this building was just a perfect opportunity to bring alive our vision of showcasing the best produce, the best artists, the best people we have serving and producing our food, the best local chefs," Balak said.

The fresh and family-friendly vibe is something customers, like Patricia Lee, enjoy.

Lee said she is a teacher in the Ardmore area and came to the restaurant for a long lunch hour, taking full advantage of the summer break.

"A bunch of us got together and, being able to sit down and have lunch here on the beautiful patio and enjoy ourselves, that's great," Lee said. "You get something really special and unique when it's a local business and not a chain. That's what makes it so great."

The Mill Street Tavern owners said they hope to see other vacant buildings downtown find new uses and more restaurants open to grow the area.