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Whiskey Rebellion-themed restaurant in Carlisle to open Thursday

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A new restaurant that pays homage to Carlisle's role in quelling a violent tax protest is set to open Thursday.

Comfort Suites Carlisle’s dining space, 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion, will have 50 kinds of whiskey available for sampling and purchase with a food menu that uses locally sourced ingredients, said Mark Morath, president and CEO of Hospitality Asset Management Co.

“There are a lot of local farmers we’ve solicited for us to buy their wares and products and to, in turn, have a relationship,” he said in a phone interview last week.

The State College-based company bought the hotel at 10 Hanover St., Carlisle, in March for $6.2 million. Soon after, the company began more than $1 million in renovations that also include the lobby and guest rooms. More renovations are planned in another phase, Morath said.

The restaurant will seat about 75 between a “rustic” dining room and the bar, he said. It will be open Monday through Saturday starting at 4 p.m.

The name was chosen as a nod to the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. In 1791, then-Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton proposed, and Congress enacted, a tax on spirits distilled in the United States. Within three years, farmers, particularly in Western Pennsylvania, refused to pay the tax.

At that time, President George Washington mustered militia from Pennsylvania and surrounding states at Carlisle, Morath said. Washington then led the troops westward to quell the rebellion without bloodshed.

While Washington didn’t stay at the hotel, his role in the area is being celebrated, Morath said.

“We can’t quite lay claim to that,” he said of the first president’s lodgings. “The hotel was built in the 1990s, not the 1790s.”

Hospitality Asset Management operates six lodging properties and two restaurants in State College: the Days Inn Penn State, the Hilton Garden Inn, Super 8, Quality Inn, Nittany Budget Motel, the AAA Four Diamond Carnegie Inn & Spa, Gigi’s Restaurant and the Carnegie House Restaurant.

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