Caroline landmark reborn as restaurant
If you’ve been to Bowling Green lately, you probably saw the freshly painted, two-story, dark gray building that was once the home of the town’s oldest businesses, the Caroline County Bank.
The 100-year-old former bank building had been vacant for years, but was recently transformed into The Heist Restaurant, a music hall and gastropub in the heart of Bowling Green.
Some of the original components of the building have been preserved, such as the two steel vaults, exposed brick walls, black and white tiles in the bathroom, upstairs offices, and even the small sliding window on the second floor where a guard with a rifle could keep watch over the property.
The Heist is owned and operated by Caroline County locals Jason and Krista Manns, and managed by Alicia Vossberg.
The Heist will open for business and live music on Nov. 5. Danny Kensey is scheduled to play Nov. 5, and Whiskey Revival will play Nov. 6.
Bands scheduled through December include the JB Brown Band, Danny Jams, Mark Volten Scenic Roots, Low Voltage, Barefoot Joe, Wesley Spangler and Paul Carella.
Jason Manns grew up in Bowling Green and made a career in music as a singer, songwriter and producer. He and his wife were drawn back to his hometown from Los Angeles in 2017.
Jason Manns music has been featured on multiple TV shows and movies such as “Supernatural,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Happy Endings,” and “Where Hope Grows.” The last album he produced, “Covers With Friends,” debuted at No. 14 on Billboard’s Folk/Americana Chart, and No. 2 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.
In the four years since returning to Caroline, the Mannses have renovated five downtown buildings for new businesses, including the Caroline County Record Company that they also own.
“I really enjoy the partnership with the business owners,” Jason Manns said. “It was something that I had never done before, and I really enjoyed it.”
The Corner Store, which opened this year, is sharing the lower level of The Heist. The Corner Store will prepare food for The Heist’s menu, which features charcuterie boards, flatbread sandwiches and salads.
The Heist will offer drinks to match the restaurant’s history. The top two drinks on the menu are Caroline’s Old Fashioned and The Heist Manhattan.
“Expect a surprising fresh flavor twist to all of the specialty drinks,” said Vossberg, who also grew up in Caroline and recently returned from Colorado, where she co-owned and operated a bar and restaurant for eight years. “We will also have the popular Moscow Mule, but ours will be made with fresh blueberry and mint. Most of the drinks can be made in a low sugar version and we also have a ‘mocktails’ menu which are alcohol free.”
The entryway to the restaurant faces Main Street and still has the bank’s original deposit slot. The bar was custom built around the huge steel vault, one of three in the building. The inside is used for storage.
There is a stage, and the Manns plan to have live music every Friday and Saturday evening. Manns said he designed the performance area, leaving the interior design to his wife and Vossberg. The interior combines their funky and traditional personal styles.
An original brick wall holds a portrait of Spanish artist and surrealist icon Salvador Dalí, who is best known for his painting of melting clocks and his long mustache. Dalí was a guest at the Hampton Manor located south of Bowling Green, where he painted and vacationed.
The Heist will be open on Friday and Saturdays from 4–11 p.m. It is located at 102 N Main St., Bowling Green.
Visit theheistbg.com for information, updates and the music schedule.
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