When we were thinking about opening another restaurant in addition to The String Bean, we knew we wanted to stay in the Belmont area. But when we saw the historic McLean house, we knew Seven Oaks Café needed the 1850s farmhouse for its home.
It all started with our friend and McLean neighborhood developer, Steven Hinshaw. He wanted to preserve the history of the house and thought we might be able to do so while offering another dining option for the neighborhood.
The history surrounding the old house was exactly what drew us to it. In our renovations we tried to embrace the natural beauty of the house while adding some modern, eclectic touches to it.
One example would be our antique, wooden canoe that we turned into a chandelier over our bar (don’t worry, it still floats). In fact, the bar itself was custom built from wood removed from the local Belmont Chronicle Mill!
All of our projects so far have been in historic buildings, from The String Bean to 10 Catawba in downtown Belmont. Incorporating ourselves into the history and local neighborhood is one of our main goals with our business ventures.
The McLean House is rooted in the historic preservation of Dr. John Davidson McLean’s homestead. McLean and his father were some of the first doctors of Gaston County.
Later the lands that currently make up the McLean neighborhood, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and the Seven Oaks Preserve trails were all acquired by Daniel Stowe before WWII.
Stowe built his home along the water in what is ow the South Shore community in the McLean neighborhood. He also owned and operated the Plantation House antiques store that is now Seven Oaks Café.
Even our name is tied into this local history. One of John Davidson McLean’s daughters noted the seven majestic oak trees that flanked the home. We named ourselves after these trees to keep this spirit alive.
These rich ties to the Belmont community spoke to us. We love this area and further supporting it and keeping history alive in it is important to us.
Lean more about us here: https://www.sevenoakscafe.com/our-roots/