Archived Arts & Entertainment

Historic Canton hotel enters next chapter

art southernporchHeading up the stairs at the historic Imperial Hotel, there’s an electricity in the air, a vibe that’s familiar, yet dearly missed in downtown Canton. With several people running around, attending to last minute details for a wedding party that evening, Nathan Lowe emerges from the depths of the enormous, beloved structure on Main Street.

“This place is a huge opportunity,” he smiled. “It’s a beautiful building, and something Canton needed.”

Co-owner of Southern Porch, which recently moved into the space, Lowe and his Head Chef Dave Grant (and their wives Michaela Blanton Lowe and Cindi Layman) decided to go into business together, all in an effort to kick start a downtown corridor that’s seen better days, in a town that’s seen better years. 

“We believe in Canton, we believe that the people are here, and it just takes that effort to get the ball rolling,” Lowe said. “We’re embracing that true sense of community right here in our own backyard.”

Grant noted the menu will feature classic southern dishes “with a twist,” atop local ingredients and produce, as well as beef from Rice Family Farms just down the road. 

“Just give us that opportunity to impress you,” he said. 

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Lowe noted they would be hosting live music multiple nights a week come summertime. There will also be cornhole tournaments and Sunday brunch (starting Mother’s Day weekend). The space can also be used for private events and whatever one may think needs a special touch of timeless southern flare that the building offers. Add into that over a dozen craft beer taps and an endless wraparound front porch, and you have a down home experience with open doors and arms for those from near and far. 

“This building itself gives people a reason to stop in,” Lowe said. “And with the Southern Porch, we want to give people a reason come back.” 

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