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Feb 9, 2012 02:50 PM

Town House in Chilhowie, Va. closing

I just received an e-mail from Town House announcing that Chefs John and Karen Shields are moving to pursue new endeavors.

Town House is currently closed for a winter break. It sounds as though they will not reopen.

I absolutely love this place and will miss it. Hopefully the owners of the restaurant will reopen with something else wonderful in the future. Hopefully John and Karen Shields will be easy to follow to wherever they relocate.

It was great while it lasted!

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  1. Just opened the same email. Very sad to hear. Son in law and I ate there the weekend before their winter break. John was also making desserts (and doing a pretty darn good job) while Karen was on leave with their 9 month old daughter. He talked to us about his plans for winter break and for a change in approach after break was over. Guess it was a pretty big change. Hope to visit both the new Town House and wherever the Shields's end up in the not too distant future.

    1. I'm slower than you both in opening emails. I, too, am going to miss Townhouse. It was comforting to know that it was just a couple of hours up the road and it would be amazing.

      I just spent time last week looking at the pictures on their website.

      They will be missed; I hope they land where they will be happy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: shallots

        I had given an evening there to some friends as a holiday gift. We were planning on going once the place returned from the winter break. They are going to be so disappointed after hearing my glowing reports over the last few years.

        My other option burnt down recently, so no idea what I will substitute for their gift!

        1. re: meatn3

          Substitute dinner at Blackberry Farm outside of Sevierville?

      2. I am heartbroken. We went there last fall (and stayed at their Farmhouse) and was planning to go for my birthday in September. I am also hoping the Shields will be easy to find and follow.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Janet from Richmond

          maybe DC? maybe Philly?

          " The couple, whose 2009 wedding was documented in The Washington Post Magazine, is relocating to Philadelphia, where they have relatives who can help them tend the couple’s 9-month-old daughter, Cicley, while they map their future and scout possible locations for a restaurant of their own.

          One of the cities they’re considering is Washington, which they visited a few weeks back. They dined at Sushi Taro and at Toki Underground . “I’ve always loved D.C., “ says John Shields. “It’s got a great vibe.” (The couple had hoped to check out Little Serow as well, but figured the exacting kitchen wouldn’t accommodate Karen Shields’ pescatarian diet.) "

            1. re: cervisiam

              Thanks for the link.

              I wonder where Charlie Berg is/will be? I really enjoyed his pairings.

              1. re: meatn3

                Charlie told me he was leaving Town House after 12/31 to head to DC & study at FCI in NY while based in DC. He was a bit vague about what his DC plans were, only that he was getting into restaurant management.

                1. re: beantowntitletown

                  I'm sure he'll succeed in whichever direction he takes. He has a natural way of conveying trust and knowledge while conveying his enthusiasm. Wishing all concerned the best!

          1. Update on the Shieldses from last week:


            Looks like they've put down roots in Philly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: beantowntitletown

              I see a trip to Philly in my future. Thanks for the update!