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2012-12-30 / News

Customers, community shocked at sudden closing of historic White Horse Inn

2012: A look back
BY KRYSTAL JOHNS 810-452-2601 • kjohns@mihomepaper.com


Michigan’s longest running restaurant at 162 years, the White Horse Inn and a landmark business in Metamora, closed its doors on Tuesday, Nov. 13. 
File photo by Krystal Johns Michigan’s longest running restaurant at 162 years, the White Horse Inn and a landmark business in Metamora, closed its doors on Tuesday, Nov. 13. File photo by Krystal Johns METAMORA — It was said to be the oldest continually serving eatery in the state, and the fifth or sixth oldest in the nation, and everyone just expected it to always be there, so it came as a real shock to many in Lapeer County when the historic White Horse Inn in Metamora closed without notice.

It was business as usual over the weekend and employees knew the place would be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 13, as repairs to the old structure were being discussed with contractors. That night, though, the rumor mill — via Facebook — churned out a tale that the establishment wouldn’t reopen. That’s how some employees found out they were out of a job, right before the holidays.

Late that Tuesday, an e-mail went out to those that were subscribed to the restaurant’s mailing list that

the White Horse was closed because it was in need of immediate major repairs to insure the safety of staff and guests, and that it had been decided those repairs wouldn’t be made.

A little digging revealed the East High Street property was in mortgage foreclosure, and taxes hadn’t been paid as well. Whether White Horse owners Tim and Lisa Wilkins were actually owners of the building or just the business couldn’t be confirmed, and the Wilkinses didn’t return numerous calls for comment.

The listed owner, Metamora Equity Partners of Auburn Hills, has until Feb. 8 to redeem the property by paying $150,459.34 plus fees and interest, or it will revert to J.D. Private Funding LLC of Flint.

The future of the crumbling historic building is unknown at this point in time, but it’s clear by the number of comments we at The County Press received that the White Horse Inn will be sorely missed by many who loved to go there.

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