Mentone Springs Hotel Featured in The Groundhog

The Mentone Springs Hotel Reopens
By Charlott Gentry, Editor

The historic Mentone Springs Hotel was alive with laughter, good music and good food as friends old and new celebrated the hotel's re-opening on April 21st. Visitors were able to meet Innkeeper Mary Rodgers Bridgforth, and taste a sampling of the fare which will be offered in the Mentone Springs Restaurant by the new managers Tony and Cathy Wilson. Tony Goggans kept the evening lively with his great variety of music and mountain wit and wisdom.

Much has been written in books, newspapers, magazines and travel publications through the years about this grand landmark, built in 1884. Longtime readers of The Groundhog have seen numerous articles dedicated to the happenings at the Hotel. If one does a Google® search for the Mentone Springs Hotel there is a treasure-trove of information, photos and links to satisfy curiousity. There is even a Facebook® page to "LIKE" the hotel.

In recent months as the new owner, Jim Rotch, and master carpenter/handyman/jack-of-all-trades, Billy Thomas, continued renovations to overcome the effects of the dear old place having sat vacant for over a year, they were also gracious enough to allow tours and private events to be held there. In April, for instance, the DeKalb County Association of Realtors® met there for a lunch and continuing education class. And, if you missed Ray Padgett's 70th birthday bash on April 16th, then you missed a real treat!

Mary Rodgers Bridgforth was named as Inn Keeper in March, and since that time she has succeeded in creating a welcoming atmosphere that would make the original owner, Dr. Frank Caldwell, proud. Mary Rogers has impressive education and experience in the hospitality services industry, but what really makes her truly qualified for th position is her graciousness and Southern charm gleaned from her upbringing at the family's ancestral home, Quiet Shades Plantation, in Vaughn, Mississippi.

"Growing up on my family's home-place gave me a chance to see hospitality and food in a different way than most. Entertaining and cooking were a pleasure and seen as a gift to others. Making others feel special through hospitality of food and conversation has always brought me joy," Bridgforth states on the Mentone Springs website.

Rounding out the hotel's team, Tony and Cathy Wilson have taken over management of the hotel and restaurant and hope to create a place where tourists and local folks alike can feel welcome to dine, sit a spell, and enjoy pleasant conversation in this unique setting. Tony and Cathy bring many years of experience in the restaurant business, including ownership of Windwood Farms in Mentone.

"We decided to change the name to Mentone Springs Restaurant (instead of Caldwell's) when we reopened," Tony states. "We will be open on Friday for lunch 10:00 am - 2:30 pm; dinner from 5:00 - 9:00 pm. Saturday we'll offer a breakfast buffet from 8:00 - 10:30 am; lunch from 10:00 - 2:30; dinner from 5:00 - 9:00 pm. Sundays we will serve a brunch buffet from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Lunch will be casual dining; dinner will be a finer dining and menu experience."

As for the lodging aspect of the hotel, Tony, Cathy and Mary Rogers are working to accommodate the needs of those wanting to visit the area and stay at Mentone's most famous location. "We'll be focusing mainly on weekends," Tony states, "but we will be open most days. It would be best to call first and make reservations. People can also check us out on Facebook® or on the hotel website."

For more information about Mentone Springs Hotel, visit or call 256-634-4040.


Mentone Springs Hotel Rings in the New Year -- Mountain Style
Mentone, Ala. — December 14, 2010 — Looking for a unique destination to ring in the new year? The newly refurbished historic Mentone Springs Hotel will welcome guests and revelers to celebrate New Year’s Eve on Friday, December 31, 2010. Often referred to as the “Grande Dame of Mentone,” the hotel, situated atop Lookout Mountain, AL, operates as a bed & breakfast and will offer charming suites and rooms for a New Year's... more

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6114 Highway 117, Mentone, Alabama 35984
For Information and Reservations Call: 256.634.4040