Winery with river scenery will continue to be a favorite destination for locals, tourists –
By Patricia Beech –
Photo by Mark Carpenter –
The long-time owners of Moyer Winery and Restaurant announced they are selling their award-winning business to Ken and Kimberly Smith of West Union.
Smith said he plans to continue operating the vineyard, winery, and restaurant in the tradition of the original founding family, the Moyers.
“Ken and Mary Moyer did a wonderful thing starting the vineyard here, and the current owners have done a wonderful thing by keeping it going,” Smith said. “Hopefully, we will continue that tradition for many years to come.”
Smith said several people had expressed interest in the property, but the owners were holding out for a buyer who would carry on the tradition of excellence started by the family 46 years ago.
“We are thrilled that Ken and Kimberly will carry on the strong reputation of the Moyer name,” said Ben White, one of the current owners. “We feel confident that they have the skills and resources to build the business.”
In addition to White and his wife Carol, current owners include Jim and Wanda Bowman of Manchester, Tom Hamrick of West Union, Brett and Sherri Spencer of Bentonville, and Cindy and Bob Gilkison of Maysville.
Eighteen years ago they, along with three other local couples, came together to purchase the restaurant and winery from the the founders, Ken and Mary Moyer.
“We bought the winery because we wanted to keep this iconic restaurant in our community,” explained Brett Spencer. “We were not necessarily interested in making money. We accomplished both goals.”
The restaurant was founded in 1972 by Ken Moyer, a Texas engineer who moved to Manchester to pursue his wine-making hobby. He and his wife Mary opened the winery and restaurant the following year and initially served only two dishes, Beef Bourguignon and Mary’s Bean and Bacon Soup, which has remained a menu staple for 45 years, according to White.
The current owners purchased the award-winning vineyard and restaurant in the 1999.
“We are extremely grateful to all the dedicated employees who have worked with us over the last two decades,” said Carol White. “And, we feel privileged to have been able to serve so many loyal customers. We’re grateful to everyone who shared a special occasion with us – a wedding, birthday, anniversary, graduation, or a dinner with family and friends – we have a lot of happy memories.”
The Smiths, both former restaurant managers, say they’re excited to reopen the restaurant later this spring.
“Ken Moyer started something amazing here,” said Ken. “There isn’t a fine-dining restaurant that offers a more perfect view of the river. Our entire area should be proud of what the Moyers created here in our county.”