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New restaurant, music venue coming to Darke Co.

ARCANUM — A new restaurant and entertainment venue called The Old Arcana Eating House & Events is scheduled to open in May in a historic 19th century building at 109 W. George St.

The new Darke County restaurant will seat 65 diners and will employ 12 to 15 to start, according to Leslie Handshoe-Suter, one of three founders and co-owner of JLS Hospitality Group. It will open initially as a breakfast-and-lunch restaurant, but plans call for adding dinner service within about three months after opening, Handshoe-Suter said. The restaurant is in the process of applying for a full liquor license.

Renovations are underway on the building, a former coffee house that has been vacant for nearly a year, Handshoe-Suter said.

The Old Arcana has a 125-seat music and events venue on its second floor and will offer live music regularly, with a focus on American roots music such as bluegrass, gospel, folk and blues, Handshoe-Suter said. A “Bluegrass Brunch” will be held on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The second floor will also be utilized for corporate or other special events, and the restaurant will offer event-planning and catering services.

JLS Hospitality Group co-owner Jeff Besecker is developing the restaurant’s menu, which will feature chicken and biscuits, sausage and gravy, and cheese grits, and will also offer vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. JLS co-owner Shannon Perry Clark will oversee music and entertainment events.

Handshoe-Suter called Arcanum a “charming little town just a step or two off the beaten path, with brick streets, a beautiful history and a progressive spirit.”

Hours will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily to start. For more information, go to or the venue’s Facebook page at, or email

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