Montgomery’s Place: Revitalizing Carterville

A trip to Montgomery’s Place, a new café in downtown Carterville.
Entering Montgomery’s to get amazing food.
Entering Montgomery’s to get amazing food.
Photography, Madisyn Ahne

Recently, fellow journalist Caden Green and I took a trip to Montgomery’s Place and we were pleasantly surprised. You may ask, what is Montgomery’s Place? Well, Montgomery’s Place is a cafe located at 131 S Division St in downtown Carterville co-owned by Tim Nation and Kyler Worthen. 

 

They provide craft coffee and a dining experience in a historic and “wonderfully well-lit” setting (Green). They are very community-driven, hoping to revitalize the downtown area of Carterville. Not only are they hoping to bring thousands of people to downtown Carterville, but they are also planning on extending with a bar and restaurant for dinner later this month, as well as a patio in the future. As of now, they are open from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with breakfast from 7:00 to 10:30, and lunch from 10:30 to 2:00. If you’d like to take a closer look, you can find them on Instagram and Facebook at @montgomerysplace.

 

To begin with the experience, the atmosphere was very cozy and welcoming, with deep browns and pleasing aesthetics all around. There were many interesting features including a fireplace with seating, a large private dining room, and a walk-up bar for coffee. To continue, the staff was friendly and the place wasn’t too busy at 7:30. Caden and I got breakfast as opposed to lunch, opting for the “Biscuits and Gravy” and “Monty’s Breakfast Bowl”, respectively. 

 

“Montgomery’s Breakfast Bowl” (Photography, Madisyn Ahne)

The breakfast bowl included toast, scrambled eggs, diced potatoes, bacon, and peppers (which I chose to exclude). Personally, I think it was delicious and presented nicely, everything was well seasoned and well cooked, with a good portion size for the price. Caden’s biscuits and gravy were “very good with a generous serving,” and also presented nicely. Onto the important part, the coffee. I got a 16oz iced white mocha with half the usual espresso; it was wonderful and exactly what I was looking for. Caden ordered a 16oz hot mocha, which was espresso-heavy and chocolatey, just as he wanted it.

A beautiful mix of hot and cold drinks for two friends enjoying a delicious breakfast. (Photography, Madisyn Ahne

 

When speaking to co-owner Tim Nation, he was able to tell us all about the creation of, inspiration for, and namesake of Montgomery’s Place. To begin, Nation and Worthen met at a business referral group in Carbondale, from there they began discussing a partnership in July and brought Worthen’s restaurant to Carterville as it was in desperate need of something new. 

 

They opened Montgomery’s recently with the help of Jeniffer Spitz of J Spitz Properties, who has been a huge help in restoring the downtown area and largely the decoration of Montgomery’s. The overall look of Montgomery’s very much reminded Caden and me of “The Great Gatsby” with its colors and lavish yet historic appearance, which was confirmed by Nation, saying Spitz’s “used the decor as part of our history with an art deco mid-century theme.”(Nation)

 

Finally, possibly the most intriguing part of our interview with Nation, is the story behind why Montgomery’s is named as it is. Turns out, in the 20’s Montgomery’s Place was a tavern, as years have gone by the building has held many other businesses, but it was decided that Montgomery’s Place should live again as a cafe, with a mural on the side to prove it. Even more interesting, “Montgomery had a monkey” in his tavern. (Nation) The monkey would go and collect money in exchange for alcohol, as it was following the law stating you could give away alcohol, but not sell it. 

Overall, we would recommend you try this place out. The food is delicious, the staff is terrific, the atmosphere is cozy, and it all comes together to make the perfect brunch location or place to stop by for coffee in the mornings. 

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