Chef John Loeffler

Head Chef – Owner at the Inn at Gristmill Square

Chef John brings locally sourced dining to the small area of Bath County, VA

Chef John Loeffler headshot

The theme, “Taste of Freedom”, drew me in immediately. Independence Day weekend is always one of my favorite celebrations, but this year it has special meaning. Having the “Taste of Freedom” event on the calendar adds a feeling of normalcy back in my life, which is something I have been craving. I am also looking forward to working with Jeff again and of course Christian and David as well.”

John is a Shepherdstown native whose hospitality career took him deep into the Allegheny Mountains. Before moving to the village of Warm Springs, Virginia he spent his mid-twenties working with the Asam family to manage their Food and Beverage operations. Fast forward 15 years and today you will find John running a boutique inn and farm-to-table restaurant with his wife Kate (a Shepherd U grad).

John’s Culinary Experience

After leaving the Bavarian Inn behind, John went on to manage the Main Dining Room and the 1766 Grill, the signature restaurant at the iconic Homestead Resort in Bath County, Virginia. After many years learning the ins and outs of large-scale F&B operations, John was hired at another famed resort, the Greenbrier Resort, to open Prime 44 West steakhouse as their signature restaurant.

Stepping out on his own

All of his F&B experience would help him to step out on his own when in 2011, he and his wife purchased a historic inn called the Inn at Gristmill Square. The Inn and its 50-seat restaurant, the Waterwheel, have been in-operation since the early 70s. They immediately set-out to infuse the food & beverage program with a modern approach of farm-to-table dining while still maintaining a “rustic elegance” atmosphere and a comfortable yet professional level of service. John oversees of all F&B operations, such as menu creation and development. He works closely with his kitchen and service staff to ensure a wonderful dining experience from start to finish.

More about the Waterwheel Restaurant

Waterwheel has been one of Bath County’s premier dining destinations since 1972. Come and explore our creative menu featuring the freshest local and sustainable ingredients. Guests will often eat dishes featuring vegetables and herbs from our onsite garden. Our approach is to highlight contemporary farm-to-table dining at its finest to our small area. Our small group of highly trained individuals provide exemplary, yet warm and personable service in a relaxed and elegant atmosphere. Guests are invited to visit our wine cellar deep within the old mill foundation or enjoy a classic cocktail at one of the Commonwealth’s smallest bars, on one of the “best four seats in Virginia.” The Waterwheel Restaurant boasts a long-standing reputation as one of Bath County’s most desired dining destinations. A Trip to the Waterwheel Restaurant will bring you an unforgettable and memorable dining experience.

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