• MCTA

Tanners Historic Cafe Post Grand Opening Press Release

Updated: May 18


George Hawver

MCTA Public Information Officer


MCTA Hosts Successful Grand Opening of Tanners Historic Cafe on April 22, 2022

Wartburg, Tennessee – 10 am on April 22, 2022 marked the beginning of a new era for Tanners Historic Cafe with a welcoming speech and placement of a Welcome to Morgan County Door Mat that greeted dozens of first-time visitors, and hundreds of those those that had grown up visiting this historic community icon over its 99 years of existence.

As each person entered, they signed a guest book to commemorate this historic event. The first signer, was appropriately, Charles Tanner, the former owner and grandson of the original 1920’s owners of Tanners Cafe and Drug Store, John Everett and Maud Tanner.

The Morgan County Tourism Alliance purchased the building two and a half years ago with the intention of reopening the cafe and to also offer additional services, such as tourism information, souvenirs and a place for hikers passing by on the nearby Cumberland Trail to get trail information, supplies, internet access, and perhaps take a hot shower in the rebuilt facility that replaced the original shower put in to allow local miners to pay a nickel to utilize the town’s original and only shower with hot running water.

One of the most important goals of the reopened Tanners Historic Cafe is to provide a glimpse into the past and simpler times when places like Tanners Historic Cafe served as community gathering places, where friends and family came together to share news, stories, gossip and memories in the years before television and the internet became pervasive.

As the crowds swarmed into the cafe during the Grand Opening, this goal was clearly met as friends and families were seen hugging, and sharing stories of their first time in the cafe and the cycle repeated itself as modern day parents and grandparents brought their own children and grandchildren in for an ice cream or milk shake.

Morgan County Tourism Alliance Mark Keck commented, “People came in with their memories and they shared those memories and they were looking forward to making new memories with their kids and grandkids just like their parents and grandparents made with them.”