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Destination Hotel: The Inn At Joseph Decuis

Roanoke is the best small town you haven't visited.

Where: The Inn at Joseph Decuis, 492 N. Main St., Roanoke, 260-672-2356

Rate: $200 per room per night

We recommend: A girls’ getaway, renting all four rooms

Tiny Roanoke, about two hours from Indianapolis just shy of Fort Wayne, is Zionsville with the horses replaced by Wagyu cows—the livestock on the Joseph Decuis farm that supplies the Joseph Decuis restaurant, market, and bed-and-breakfast on Main Street.

Joseph Decuis has been a destination fine-dining restaurant for 20 years now and put Roanoke on the map. Since then, the rest of the town (pop. 1,700) has become more polished, too, thanks in part to the investment of owners Alice and Pete Eshelman. The couple moved to Roanoke from Massachusetts with Pete’s sport-insurance business, bought the farm, and started acquiring downtown buildings and encouraging small-business startups. Now there’s much more to do than savor one of those Wagyu steaks and head back to Indianapolis. Main Street has a lively mix of independent shops with arts, gifts, clothing, stationery, antiques, and decor on the level of Mass Ave (but with small-town prices). Lynnlee’s Flowers and Design offers workshops on making a succulent arrangement or a glass-shard mural on a vintage window, as well as those items ready for purchase, too. Groups of up to 12 can request a session. Frebella Calligraphy & Design has a sweet display of its own hand-lettered greeting cards. The Creamery takes up two levels of an industrial space with upscale decor. The Barn, an event venue, holds an antiques sale once a month, and the Vintage and Handmade Market is scheduled to take place outside on Main Street on August 15.

The Joseph Decuis flagship restaurant has yet to reopen, but there are other dining options. The Village Inn specializes in ribs and indulgent accompaniments like Lyonnaise potatoes. Patio Pizza & BBQ opens its garage doors for open-air seating. The Joseph Decuis Emporium serves its farm-to-fork products for lunch and has a market for taking your own provisions back to the inn. Two-EE’s Winery and The Copper Still bourbon and wine bar are currently open and have live music.

The bed-and-breakfast is so beautiful, you’ll want to spend plenty of time hanging out there. Go with enough people to book all four rooms, each with its own bathroom. You’ll have the run of the living room, kitchen, and large porch with wicker furniture. It comes stocked with board games and a refrigerator full of Joseph Decuis charcuterie and desserts, mini-bar-style. Just take loungewear, and don’t overplan. You’ll figure out the day during coffee on the porch and breakfast of farm-fresh eggs and Wagyu sausage made for you.

Ace This Trip

Stay: Plan on two nights—one dinner at The Village Inn and the other at Joseph Decuis, once the latter reopens, or at your bed-and-breakfast, cooking up what you buy at the Joseph Decuis Emporium.

Try: Joseph Decuis’s signature banana-cream pie. It’s the same recipe that chef Marcus Daniel has served at the James Beard House in New York.

Chat: It’s a small town. Talk to people about Roanoke’s transformation and suggestions for exploring the area, if you’re restless.

 

Fernandez began writing for Indianapolis Monthly in 1995 while studying journalism at Indiana University. One of her freelance assignments required her to join a women's full-tackle football team for a season. She joined the staff in 2005 to edit IM's ancillary publications, including Indianapolis Monthly Home. In 2011, she became a senior editor responsible for the Circle City section as well as coverage of shopping, homes, and design-related topics. Now the director of editorial operations, she lives in Garfield Park.
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