One of Batesville’s most recognizable landmarks could soon have a new owner. WRBI-FM reports the Sherman House, which has been closed since January, has received two, separate $1.1 million proposals to reopen.
The plans were unveiled Monday at a meeting of the Batesville Economic Development Commission. WRBI says the first potential investor, who wishes to remain anonymous, wants to reopen both the restaurant and hotel, which could lead to 80 full-time jobs. Big 4 Cafe chef Adam Israel’s proposal encompasses only the first floor restaurant. His plan calls for the same level of investment, but with 40 potential jobs.
Current owner Doug Bessler announced his "semi-retirement" earlier this year and plans to put the 1850s-era destination up for sale. He also owns an auto dealership. The Sherman House, with its signature German-style architecture, is prominently located in the city’s downtown business district.
The commission’s approval is not necessary for the sale, but it could consider possible tax abatement if either plan advances.
It has had several owners over the years, including Hillenbrand, which purchased it in the early 1920s and connected four additional buildings. Bessler bought the landmark in 2006 and reopened with seasonal menus, 23 guest rooms and conference and meeting space. It took on the name The Sherman House during the post-Civil War-era as regional hero General William Tecumseh Sherman gained fame throughout the conflict.