The Hayter House - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/07/05-Nacogdoches

The Hayter House

by Donna McCollum

The early growth and prosperity of Nacogdoches can be credited to the Hayter Family. Their family home is the only remaining mansion on North Street. Next week that home, which was formerly known as La Hacienda Restaurant, will re-open to the public as a new restaurant.

Great efforts have been made to bring something new to Nacogdoches, while at the same time, respecting the past.

Restaurant manager, Henry Schmidt invites you into the newest restaurant in town. "Welcome to the Hayter House," he says as he opens a newly renovated entrance. Immediately you feel at home, just like the Hayter's would want. "You walk through you get a great visual through there. The window, it's a three tier room. The windows draw you in", points out Schmidt.

As does the rest of the house, originally built at the turn of the 20th century by a master architect. Schmidt is developing a bond with the home of a timber patriarch. "What I like about the restaurant is every room has a different feeling to it."

The inviting front porch to the beautiful woodwork show modifications can be made with respect to the family's heritage. A front entrance was torn out twice when the first try didn't look as designers had expected.

Henry Sunda manages the Hayter Trust. He's pleased with the project. "When the public comes here they'll see where an East Texas family lived in the past and they'll know this family is still functioning and still providing goods for the area."

Such as the Hayter Trust blueberries grown not far from its timber plantations and oil and gas holdings. Chef Eric Lawhon will use them in cobbler. His other creations including Heavenly Fried Oysters and Prime Rib Enchiladas maintain that homey theme. (See the complete menu at www.hayterhouse.com )

Lawhon calls it, "Good comfort food that they [customers] don't feel intimidated by. Thought out well prepared from scratch, fresh ingredients, local purveyors."

The Hayter House opens Monday, Jan. 10, but the team asks that not everyone come at once. There's no rush. The good food and wine will always be there as Schmidt promises while toasting with a glass of white wine. "We have a rule at the Hayter House. No red wine before noon."

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