Sunday, July 21, 2024

Fine dining in Marshall


Alan Loudermilk found a home in Marshall. 

“I got here in 2009 for a patent case,” says Alan.  “I’m an engineer and a lawyer and worked with a lot of startups and turned out the best place to try to get money from intellectual property was Marshall, Texas.”

He bought some downtown property and turned it into a place for festivals and parties.  He started a Boogie Woogie Festival, one of the top attractions in Marshall, held every September.  Top musicians from several musical genres perform.  Alan also bought the historic Ginocchio restaurant.  The building used to be a hotel. 

“The Ginocchio, right across from the depot is one of the last standing railroad hotels in the country.  It was a fine hotel, supposedly one of the finest hotels between New Orleans and Denver a hundred and twenty years ago.  Charles Ginoccio, an Italian merchant was selling goods to the rail travelers and evidently was a darn good one, ‘cause he ended up building this hotel and one near Fort Worth.  The building had fallen into hard times in the more recent years, so we bought it out of foreclosure and after two years of renovation, the building is just gorgeous.  With the curly pine, the stained glass, the tile, the Edison arches, it’s a combination of fine dining, history, and we try to pair it with good food, good service, and good beverages.”

He’s had the Ginocchio six years.  It was his first venture into the restaurant business.

“If you count when I was slingin’ burgers at the Dairy Queen in high school, that was the closest I got to a restaurant.  I was supposed to be a passive landlord and I had other partners who were going to run it.  That didn’t work out, so I’m an accidental restaurateur. 

The restaurant building was virtually unused for twenty years, so it required extensive renovation. 

“We really had to take the building almost apart.  We had rotten floor joists and things like that that needed to be replaced.  It was very much more time-consuming and expensive than we originally imagined.”

The Ginocchio has its original bar, a gift from Don Henley of the Eagles who had previously bought it.   The restaurant features fine dining.

“Chef Renaldo is one of the best chefs that I’ve ever experienced, and I eat well.  He’s got lamb, he’s got steak, he’s got seafood - it’s pasta.  You order Fettuccine Alfredo, and he makes the sauce to order.”

There is no dress code for the Ginacchio, but a lot of people dress up because it’s their special night out.  The bar is a more casual environment.

“I always say, as long as you’re wearing a smile, you’re welcome.”