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HUNTINGTON — First opening in 2015 as a side business of Le Bistro, The Cellar Door has traditionally been a spot for private parties and holiday celebrations. After closing down for several months following the retirement of founder Pam Abraham, The Cellar Door reopened alongside Le Bistro this year under the new ownership of Christopher Craven. The popular party spot is preparing to ring in the new year with a New Year’s Eve celebration, albeit one with masks and social distancing enforced.

“The Cellar Door opened in 2015 after an extensive remodeling of the lower level of the building. The original owner, Pam Abraham, designed the restaurant and the custom-made furniture downstairs. She worked with the local upholsters and wood workers to put together a unique environment,” Craven said. “Our focus in reopening was on elevating the menus. We wanted to revise not only the food menu but also the cocktail menu. We do some really cool featured cocktails. We have $4 craft cocktails which are garnished with dried fruit and made with housemade simple syrups. We also have the Mosaic Cocktail series, which actually have artwork featured on the top of them.”

Derived from the Spanish word for “small plates,” tapas are meant to be shared. These include The Cellar Door’s old favorites such as the Picasso Nachos ($8), which are made with crispy wontons, beef short ribs, black bean and corn salsa and a poblano cheese sauce. There’s also a new assortment of Noah’s Creations named for the restaurant’s new executive chef Matthew Noah. Among these are Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp ($12), Meatloaf Sliders ($10) and Chef Noah’s Garden Bruschetta ($10). Dessert options include Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee ($8), Chocolate Chip Bourbon Glazed Bread Pudding ($8) and French Chocolate Cake ($8).

In addition to a wide selection of wines and craft beers, The Cellar Door has a selection of cocktails. These include the Mountain Mule ($10) made with moonshine, lemon/lime bitters, fresh mint and a pinch of sugar with lime. There’s also the Appalachian Manhattan ($12) made with Bulleit bourbon, apple cider and apple butter topped with ginger ale. There’s also a mix of alcohol-free mocktails including the Virgin Sunrise ($6), the Moscow Madame ($6) and the Mountain Mojito ($7).

“This year’s New Year’s Eve is going to be different. We aren’t going to be changing the service style for these special gatherings outside of the fact we have featured specials and one night themes at both. Generally speaking, all of our employees are COVID-screened at the start of every shift, we have special measures in terms of sanitizing the dining room, and all of the tables are 6 feet apart. Masks are required for both employees and patrons,’’ Craven said. “At the Cellar Door, we will be having a Alice In Wonderland themed dinner party, and at Le Bistro we will have a Moulin Rouge themed party. At the Cellar Door we will have a special $45 three-course dinner. There will also be drink specials and a VIP watching room, where you can watch the ball drop. We will start at 5 p.m. The party at Le Bistro will go until 11 p.m., and at Cellar Door it will continue until 1 a.m. Seating is going to be limited, so we recommend calling ahead.”

The Cellar Door is located at 905 3rd Ave. B., in Huntington. It is open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. until midnight Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Sundays. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For reservations or more information, call 304-523-2014. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/CellarDoorHuntington/ or http://cellardoorwv.com/.

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