Living the Good Life

Bella, again Once abandoned, this historic house is now a bed and breakfast

New Castle News – November 20, 2019

A 140-year-old, once abandoned, home on the North Hill has a new look, and purpose.

After nearly a decade, Mariah Kakis and her partner, Dustin Moran, both from Arizona, have finished their renovation of the 101 E. Wallace Ave. house.

And what was once a repossessed property is now a bed and breakfast — Belladonna Inn.

The new look is attracting attention, Kakis said.

“We’ve had a lot of people appreciate the work,” she said. “We had the grandson of the original builder come to town, and he was very appreciative. He loved what we did with the house.”

Before Kakis and Moran bought the house and began construction on the historic home, they had only visited New Castle twice.

“I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it,” Kakis said. “I love the Victorian homes. My sister-in-law lives in Ohio and my family is from Ohio. Her son married someone from New Castle, and she knows I love Victorian homes, and she says, ‘You’ve gotta go check out the houses in New Castle.'”

After going online to view a few homes, Kakis contacted a real estate agent to view another house that was for sale. It turned out to be in worse condition than the Wallace Avenue house.

“It was way beyond my budget to fix it,” she said. “We’re talking half a million dollars to fix that house, minimal.”

After returning home to Arizona, Kakis began to look for other homes in the area that she could better afford the restoration. When she came back to New Castle, she met up with the real estate agent to see more houses.

“This is one of the ones she showed me, and I just fell in love with it,” she said.

The home was built in 1882 by John Wallace, who was a pharmacist.

The house, which had stayed in the Wallace family until 1986, had previously been a doctor’s office, apartments and a women’s shelter before it became vacant.

“You know, back then, houses went from father to son or daughter, well not so much daughter, but father to son,” Kakis said.

Although Moran and Kakis planned to have the house renovated and a bed and breakfast operating within two years after their purchase, the work has taken much longer than they expected.

“Everything takes longer than you think it’s going to take,” Kakis said. “When we first got here we thought, two years three years tops. That went into four years and then five years.”

“Things pop up,” Moran added.

When the pair first moved to the North Hill home, it did not have gas, electricity or running water. The roof even had two holes in it.

“They deteriorate quickly when they’re abandoned,” Moran said.

Kakis said upon moving in, the pair had three main projects they wanted to tackle: the utilities, the garage and an oak tree.

At the side entrance stands the original portico used for horse-drawn carriages. It was on the verge of collapsing due to a large overhanging tree.

“We had to find somebody to cut that tree down,” Kakis said. “That was also not so easy.”

One of the hardest challenges was locating contractors to do some of the work.

“Finding people to do renovations was probably the hardest part of this job. We did a lot of things ourselves,” said Kakis, who had experience in interior design.

One of the projects they needed to get outside help for was the roof.

“We had a slate roof, and we didn’t want to take it off. We wanted to repair it,” Kakis said. “Finding someone to do slate was like pulling teeth.”

Beyond the obvious repairs the house needed due to its age, another possible challenge were the ghostly occupants.

“We’ve had many experiences,” Kakis said.

“I was walking up the steps … and I saw a gentleman standing at the steps,” Moran said. “He was an older gentleman, tall. He had taken his jacket off. He was wearing a white shirt.”

Moran said he has seen what he believes to be Mr. Wallace on two occasions. One of which was at the top of the staircase. The other was Wallace sitting on a settee placed in the first-floor hallway.

Kakis has seen a little girl — and a gray cat.

The pair ran a coffee shop in Tucson before moving to New Castle, and Moran was also an engineer.

The home is on the corner of East Wallace Avenue and North Mercer Street and has 4,500 square feet of living space.

They began a catering business out of their kitchen, Tin City Catering, to earn the funds to pay for the repairs.

They now offer three bedrooms for rent through Airbnb under the name Belladonna Inn, meaning beautiful woman in Italian, which they believe exemplifies the newly renovated home. They will also soon open a wellness center, which will have massages, essential oils and yoga.

“If we can do it, especially somebody younger, they can do it,” Kakis said.

A Blast from the Past

By: Stephen Wilaj Updated: Oct 31, 2016 08:39 PM
New Castle house: Quaint, warm a up…haunted? By Len Rome – NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WYTV) – Overlooking New Castle is North Hill, a neighborhood of spooky old homes, including one that will soon become a bed and breakfast. They’ll call it the Belladonna Inn on East Wallace Avenue, a home from a much older time — quaint, warm…and haunted. The guide for WYTV’s seance, Michele Saling, called on the memories and the energies trapped in the walls. “Now I’m protected,” Saling said. “I mean I have my own spirit guides, I have my own teachers on the other side and we’re safe in the circle of love that we’re going to create today from…I’ll just say mischief.” How about mischief from an 8-year-old girl who’s searching for someone? The co-owner of the Belladonna, Mariah Kakis, has seen the child on an upper floor. “I got up and went out into the hall, looked around,” Kakis said. “She just had this weird quality like she wasn’t really real from the get-go — like see through, almost misty.” Saling knows the girl drowned not far away. “She’s here because she wants her mommy to know she’s OK,” she said. And maybe the child has a friend in a ghostly cat that roams the halls forever? Saling’s husband, Dustin Moran — and Mariah too — have watched it appear out of nowhere. “When it runs up the stairs, that’s it,” Moran said. “As soon as she turns the corner to go up the stairs, she’s gone.” There’s more to this house, like the sound of heavy footsteps — just footsteps — and the man Dustin saw dressed in 19th century clothing, looking down at him from the stairs. “As soon as I saw it, it kind of like disappears — went away,” Moran said. “Later on when I went up the stairs and looked around, I didn’t see anything at all. “But he’s been present since basically I walked into this room. He wants to know what we’re doing,” Kakis said. Why, we’re listening for the dead…and who’s afraid of that? “And as we sit in the circle surrounded by the white light of the divine, we are safe,” Kakis said. Safe…until the next haunt…Happy Halloween. For more info on the Belladonna Inn, check out its official website. Copyright by WYTV – All rights reserved

2018 Best of New Castle PA Award

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Belladonna Inn Receives 2018 Best of New Castle Award

New Castle Award Program Honors the Achievement

NEW CASTLE August 7, 2018 — Belladonna Inn has been selected for the 2018 Best of New Castle Award in the Event Venue category by the New Castle Award Program.

Each year, the New Castle Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the New Castle area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 New Castle Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the New Castle Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About New Castle Award Program

The New Castle Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the New Castle area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The New Castle Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: New Castle Award Program

CONTACT:
New Castle Award Program
Email: [email protected]
URL: http://www.dubbini.net

Proud to be of Service

Our sister company Tin City Caters is proud to haven been chosen as the caterer to this worthwhile event right here in New Castle, PA

Injured Marine, family welcomed into Sinise Foundation-built home

U.S. Marine Corps Major Eric Burkett quoted the 23rd Psalm as a passage that touched him one day in church “and hit me like a throat punch.” It was that inspiration that prompted him to name his new home “Still Water,” as a haven where his fellow Marines are always welcome to take shelter on the banks of the Neshannock Creek.

Spicy Cauliflower Burgers

Spicy Cauliflower Burgers with avocado sauce as served at the Art of Veggie at the BellaDonna Inn.

INGREDIENTS
for the cauliflower burgers
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 head cauliflower (about 6 cups florets)
3-4 tablespoons oil, divided
a few generous shakes of spicy seasoning – cumin, chili powder, cayenne, etc.
a minced garlic clove or two
3/4 cup breadcrumbs or ground almonds
3/4 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the quinoa according to package directions but only using 1 cup broth of water to keep it from getting too heavy.
Cut the cauliflower into florets, transfer to a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with spices to taste. Roast for 20-30 minutes. Let cool. Pulse through a food processor to form small pieces that stick together. You don’t want PUREE here, you want enough mushiness to help it all stick together.
Combine the cooked, pulsed cauliflower with the quinoa, garlic, breadcrumbs, Pepperjack cheese, eggs, salt, and another teaspoon or two of spicy seasoning (cayenne will make it hot-spicy, so just add a few shakes of that one). Form 10 patties.
In an oiled or nonstick pan over medium heat, cook the burgers until golden brown on each side, flipping very carefully to avoid breaking. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

NOTES
In terms of level of spiciness, that is totally up to you! and it happens mostly at step two when you’re mixing up the burger mixture. Don’t be shy to add more spices or adjust – especially after you fry and taste one of them. Mine turned out a little bit differently every time I made them depending on what spices I used more or less of.

For a gluten free version, be sure to use the almond meal instead of the breadcrumbs. It won’t hold together quite as nicely, but it’s still delicious.

Spicy Cauliflower Burgers with Avacado Sauce

Spicy Cauliflower Burgers with avocado Sauce

INGREDIENTS
for the cauliflower burgers
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 head cauliflower (about 6 cups florets)
3-4 tablespoons oil, divided
a few generous shakes of spicy seasoning – cumin, chili powder, cayenne, etc.
a minced garlic clove or two
3/4 cup breadcrumbs or ground almonds
3/4 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the quinoa according to package directions but only using 1 cup broth of water to keep it from getting too heavy.
Cut the cauliflower into florets, transfer to a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with spices to taste. Roast for 20-30 minutes. Let cool. Pulse through a food processor to form small pieces that stick together. You don’t want PUREE here, you want enough mushiness to help it all stick together.
Combine the cooked, pulsed cauliflower with the quinoa, garlic, breadcrumbs, Pepperjack cheese, eggs, salt, and another teaspoon or two of spicy seasoning (cayenne will make it hot-spicy, so just add a few shakes of that one). Form 10 patties.
In an oiled or nonstick pan over medium heat, cook the burgers until golden brown on each side, flipping very carefully to avoid breaking. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

NOTES
In terms of level of spiciness, that is totally up to you! and it happens mostly at step two when you’re mixing up the burger mixture. Don’t be shy to add more spices or adjust – especially after you fry and taste one of them. Mine turned out a little bit differently every time I made them depending on what spices I used more or less of.

For a gluten free version, be sure to use the almond meal instead of the breadcrumbs. It won’t hold together quite as nicely, but it’s still delicious.

Vegan Lentil “Meatloaf”

Recipie for the Vegan Lentil ” Meatloaf” that was served during the he Art of Being Veggie at the BellaDonna Inn.

VEGAN LENTIL LOAF
TOTAL TIME: 1 H

OUR PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES COOK TIME: 45 MINUTES

This easy veggie filled lentil loaf is even better than the classic meatloaf! Be sure to use green or brown lentils, not red.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups cooked French lentils (you can use vacuum packed steamed lentils from the produce section. Be sure your lentils aren’t too wet from cooking.)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 ¼ cup diced crimini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon bbq sauce
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 tablespoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup quick oats
½ cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup ketchup
pinch brown or coconut sugar

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion, carrots, celery, pepper, and mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper until softened. Add the garlic and saute another minute longer.
In a food processor, pulse together the lentils, cooked vegetables, tomato paste, bbq sauce, flax meal, parsley, salt, pepper, oats, and breadcrumbs. You may have to work in batches if your food processor is small. Do not puree, but blend into a chunky dough. You want some bits of veggies for texture.
Form the dough into a ball and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Form into a “loaf” shape as shown in the pictures. Alternatively, fill bell pepper halves with the lentil mixture and place in a baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the ketchup on top. Sprinkle with sugar to help caramelize the topping. Bake for another 10 minutes. Let the lentil loaf cool at least 10 minutes as it firms up during this time.

Menu for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

We’re All Mad Here…

The menu for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party:

Scones:
Mixed Up Berry Scones with lemon curd

Savories:
Mock Turtle (cold) Soup
Humpty Dumpty (deviled) Eggs
Magic (stuffed) Mushrooms
Pig Babies (ham sandwiches with orange marmalade)
Duchess Potatoes

Sweets:
UnBirthday Cake (chocolate mousse)
Queen of Tarts (cherry)
Treacle Cookies
“Eat Me” Macrons

4 awesome teas themed to the party 3 hot and 1 iced