Plans for new structure at Montwell Commons announced

For several months the construction of a new building at Montwell Commons has piqued interest throughout Lewisburg.

Montwell Commons leadership and partners are now pulling back the curtain to reveal the next stage of development occurring on Jefferson Street in downtown Lewisburg. The building will be dedicated as the James Withrow Building to commemorate the James Withrow Tannery established in the early 1800s on the site of present-day Montwell Commons.

The James Withrow Building has been constructed with funds from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and the generous contributions of Don and Marit Withrow, descendants of the original Greenbrier County Withrows.

The Withrows first invested in development of Montwell Commons in 2015, but immediate construction was waylaid by the devastating flood of June 2016. They are pleased to see progress on the site move into the next phase

“We just started learning about the vision behind plans to develop Montwell Commons as a multi-use community space, and we thought it was such an exciting project,” says Don Withrow.

In spring, when construction is slated to be complete, a new business will take up residence in the James Withrow Building. Business owner Clay Elkins will open The Local Café & Grocer on site. The Local Café and Grocer will serve breakfast and lunch and sell regionally-sourced produce, meats, and ready-made meals to-go. Elkins’ mission is to support the local food system and make responsibly-produced food more accessible to the community.

“The Local Café and Grocer is the product of several years of research and planning. I am happy to see this project come to fruition and look forward to serving my community and partnering with others,” says Elkins.

Elkins is currently the director of food and beverage at The Greenbrier Sporting Club and brings more than 15 years of experience in the culinary world to his new venture.

Montwell Commons is a nonprofit organization under the direction of the Greenbrier Valley Restoration Project, Inc. a 501c3. Montwell Commons is focused on partnering with socially-responsible individuals and organizations with a shared interest in the development of functional public spaces that foster healthy community life through local food, physical fitness, cultural events and educational opportunities. Montwell Commons includes 7.5 acres of park-like space for walking trails, disc golf, and relaxing, as well as structures that invite community gathering and engagement while fostering local small business development.

Montwell Commons’ board of directors are Florian Schleiff, Cliff Baker, Paul Lindquist, Elizabeth Clark, Jennifer Orr, and Greg Wittkamper. To learn more about Montwell Commons or to contact the board, visit or call 304-992-2555.

Credit to Mountain Messenger

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