Update: Halpatter Brewing Company

Salvaging and Restoring

Here's a quick update about our friends over at Halpatter Brewing Company:

"From the get go, one of the things we had set as a priority for Halpatter was the use of salvaged materials from the area. This is one of the old fire escapes off of the Blanche Hotel which John Best (our talented Interior Designer) is harvesting to incorporate into chairs, stools, tables, etc. We can’t thank the fine people at the Blanche enough for their gracious contribution and for sharing an affinity to make old things new again!"

Photo cred: Holly Frazier Photography

Photo cred: Holly Frazier Photography

"So much great work has been happening around the brewery. The windows inside and out are currently being restored. The upstairs taproom and downstairs walk-in cooler have now been framed up and of course Jonny has been continuing to make unbelievable headway on the heart of Halpatter. On a side note for those of you who have been asking for an opening date/time frame, stay tuned, we are still working that out and want to make sure we get it right this time! More to come…"

Lake City leaders take final steps to redevelop Blanche Hotel

WCJB reports on the historic Blanche Hotel in Downtown Lake City.

"By bringing construction jobs in, by bringing permanent retailers in. To give people hope that there is something going to happen downtown than what currently is downtown,” said Rhett Holmes, IDP President.

Read more & watch video here: http://www.wcjb.com/content/news/Lake-City-leaders-take-final-steps-to-redevelop-Blanche-Hotel-441785383.html

Attracting Businesses Back to Downtown Lake City

Bringing The Blanch Back to Life

Nowadays, people are moving back into downtown areas because they crave authenticity, walkability, convenience, history and charm. Most importantly, they crave community. People want to live somewhere that feels authentic and has some soul. They want to work in the city limits and feel like they're part of a community. They want to be able to ditch the car on any given day and easily walk or bike to their destination. These experiences bring life back into downtown areas and create tight-knit communities.

Dale Tompkins from Church on The Way was kind enough to share his memories of Hotel Blanche with us, and his hope for a better downtown moving forward. 



"The Blanche has been a part of my life since I was a small child. I can remember as a child going to the drug store located in the Blanche and sitting at the counter and getting an old-fashioned cherry coke from the fountain. This was a highlight for me each week over the summer."

Downtown Lake City

"Honestly, until a few years ago I would have said that it was not important. However, I had an opportunity to travel to Europe and spend some time in London and Paris. Seeing the historical building in these two iconic cities reminded me that we have so few in Lake City. That opportunity taught me how little of our history has been persevered in our city. The Blanche is probably the best example of our town history still standing and it being brought back to life will allow future generations to see a piece of our founding history."

Hotel Blanche Lake City

"The Blanche redevelopment project will be a great resource in attracting businesses back to downtown. One of the biggest problems in attracting businesses back downtown is the cost of developing the spaces into usable space. Having premium finished spaces to rent will allow newer businesses to move into downtown with little out of pocket expense to get the usable space their business needs."

The Blanche Lake City FL

Thanks to Dale for sharing his stories and passion for Downtown Lake City. We're excited and proud to be the catalyst for change in downtown and hope many more projects hop onboard to become the new social, economic, and cultural hubs of our great community.

Smokin' Pig Fest BBQ and Family Day

Food. Drinks. Fun.

Don't miss the 9th Annual Smokin' Pig Fest BBQ and Family Day on September 15-16, 2017 at the Columbia County Fairgrounds! There will be bounce houses, various vendors, live entertainment, games and, of course, delicious BBQ!

For more info, visit Smokin' Pig BBQ Festival on Facebook.

Smokin Pig Fest Lake City FL

A Truly Unique Gastro Pub Experience

Eat Real Food at Marion Street Bistro

Located in the heart of historical Downtown Lake City sits one of our favorite spots for delectable cuisine and good times, Marion Street Bistro & Brewhouse. From flavorful food to craft beer to live music, Marion Street Bistro & Brewhouse does an incredible job of providing a unique experience every time you step in the door. 

Great atmosphere, warm welcoming staff and delicious drinks. We recommend going with the Southern Style Shrimp & Grits or Lobster Mac & Cheese, but there are plenty of lunch and dinner menu items to keep you coming back. But, our favorite part, the outstanding job they did restoring the building and making it historically pleasing throughout. The Columbia Pharmacy opened its doors in 1909 at this location and you can still see and feel the history throughout. Thank you for resorting, instead of replacing.

Go visit our friends at Marion Street Bistro & Brewhouse! We're excited they've invested in downtown's history, charm and community. Cheers to calling Downtown Lake City home!

Stay up-to-date on specials and events on their Facebook Page.

Marion Street Bistro

Where is Marion Street Bistro & Brewhouse Located? 

Marion Street Bistro is open Monday-Saturday at: 281 N. Marion Avenue


The Catalyst for Change

The Growth & Prosperity of Lake City

The Hotel Blanche is significant because the construction of the hotel and its addition reflected the growth and prosperity of Lake City through its town development as a transportation node and educational center.

We had the pleasure of asking Christopher Lydick, District Archeologist/Historian for the Osceola National Forest Service and chairman of the Zoning and Planning Board of Lake City, his thoughts on Hotel Blanche and the future of Downtown Lake City.

Why is the history of Hotel Blanche important to Lake City?

"The Blanche was constructed during the same building campaign as the Columbia County Courthouse and both structures were designed by the same architect, Frank Pierce Milburn. He is also the same architect that designed the Florida State Capitol

The Blanche is iconic to the identity of Downtown Lake City. Historically, it was the social, economic, and cultural hub of our Downtown district. It is a defining character in the majority of historic photography of our community, and the backdrop of many of the stories of yesteryear. Although the city has previously had a poor track record of historic structures leveled for parking; now the city is actively engaged in historic preservation through the Zoning and Planning Board. The success of the Blanche rehabilitation will be pivotal to furthering this end," says Lydick.

How has Hotel Blanche impacted you personally?

"The Blanche was the first time that we ever were presented with the opportunity to evaluate a historic preservation proposal and issue a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) under Article 10 of the City's Land Development Regulations (LDRs). Since the Blanche project, we have begun actively requiring historic properties to get COAs prior to modification of historic structures downtown. The Blanch was the catalyst for that change."

The Blanche Downtown Lake City FL

How do you think the redevelopment of Hotel Blanche will effect the future of Downtown Lake City?

"Rehabilitation for adaptive re-use of the Blanch property has the potential to offer mixed retail, civic, municipal, commercial, and residential use. If done correctly and responsibly, a project of this caliber has the potential to be a catalyst for additional downtown rehabilitation and adaptive re-use."



Thanks to Lydick for sharing his stories and passion for Lake City. We're excited and proud to be the catalyst for change in downtown and hope many more projects hop onboard to become the new social, economic, and cultural hubs of our great community.

A New Look For The Blanche

Logo Design Poll Results

The results are in! We had incredible feedback from the Lake City community in our logo design poll on Facebook -- we're thankful for all the support! We loved reading your comments and look forward to continuing the historic charm and nostalgia of Hotel Blanche in this new chapter at The Blanche.

We're excited to share our brand new look! A beautifully laid out, classically elegant approach. The typeface has a classic feel with a timeless look to it, much like the historic building.

The Blanche Lake City FL
The Blanche Logo Mark
The Blanche Logo Mark 2

The results were close, but Logo #3 edged out the rest for its bold, simple, chic and classic feel. Here are a handful more comments from our voters:

  • "Number 3 looks more modern as we look to the future but has a good nod to past nostalgia."
  • "#3 seems to echo the era the Blanche was most active."
  • "Logo 3, it looks warm and timeless."
The Blanche Logo Design Poll

Thanks again to all who participated! Stay tuned, more updates coming soon.