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The Patten House of Geneva Restaurant and Bar was honored with the third annual Mayor’s Choice Award for Business Investment by restoring and preserving the historic character of their new location at 124 S. Second St.
Mayor Kevin Burns presented the award to Patten House owner Nancy Luyten Nov. 14 at the City’s annual Business Holiday Kickoff Breakfast at the Herrington Inn and Spa.
“The Patten House is the manifestation of the phrase, ‘what’s old is new again,’” Mayor Burns said. “Thanks to Nancy Luyten and her family, history and hospitality once again coexist on the northwest corner of Second and Campbell streets.”
However, before the first meal was even served this summer, the home built in 1857 was in dire need of a renovation. The home, named after its original owner George Patten, served as a temporary Kane County Courthouse from 1890 to 1892 after a fire destroyed the original courthouse. Since 1919, the house had been owned by the Nottolini family, and for a time between 1920 and 1930, the building was called the South Park Hotel.
Searching for the right location for her new restaurant venture, Luyten desired a historic home that could be restored into a gem. She acted as the project’s general contractor, tackling the challenges of rehabbing a 157-year-old property and spending countless hours working with the City’s Community Development Department and subcontractors. The restoration effort included tuck-pointing chimneys, replacing the roof, reglazing the windows, relocating the grease trap, removing the in-ground pool and revamping the property’s landscaping.
Nestled amidst Geneva’s charming downtown, the Patten House is now a multi-level restaurant offering private rooms, intimate dining rooms, a full-service bar and lounge, wraparound deck and garden patio. The restaurant offers a diverse menu of Cajun-flaired appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees. The style and menu are reminiscent of an old plantation home, exuding southern charm and class.