New Restaurant Will Offer Breakfast to Berryville

Berryville is about to gain yet another restaurant option for hungry visitors. Brian and Heidi McClemens  have decided to convert their recently opened House of Light Christian gift store into a breakfast and lunch venue with dinner being offered on Friday and Saturday evening.

The House of Light opened its doors in July as a shopping and dining destination offering Christian merchandise. The current coffee house atmosphere is replete with sandwiches, desserts and drinks as well as plenty of couch space for adults and children to sit and relax. However, low sales volume has pushed the two entrepreneurs to look for a new way to generate revenue.

“I had hoped that a Christian gift store would have done better with all of the churches in our areas” Brian McClemens said at the store on Friday. “But competition from Internet companies, especially for purchasing books and Bibles, combined with the tough economy has made it difficult.”

House of Light - Photo Edward Leonard

McClemens said that Black Friday, the shopping event on the day after Thanksgiving when retailers often generate a large percentage of annual sales revenue, saw very few sales at his story.

“Black Friday was a bust here in Berryville” McClemens said.

To solve his revenue challenges McClemens plans to overhaul his House of Light space to seat up to 30 people while still selling some of the retail items currently offered in the store. McClemens said that his breakfast menu will follow the same formula that has made the Berryville Grille so successful; Excellent quality and very affordable pricing.

“Our breakfast menu will feature high quality food and great prices” McClemens said. “We’re also offering free coffee until Christmas.” For evening dining McClemens plans to offer a quieter, no-alcohol dining experience at the House of Light.

The House of Light’s entry into the Berryville breakfast market will likely take a bite out of morning revenues at other local eateries. Asked whether Berryville can support yet another restaurant in an already packed menu of dining options McClemens said “I think that Berryville can support another restaurant serving breakfast provided it has the kind of pricing our community wants. Most of the breakfast places in Berryville are very pricey. Our prices are going to be affordable.”

Announcement for the new restaurant, to be called the House of Light Coffee House and Gift Shop, comes on the one year anniversary of the McClemens’s hugely successful opening of the adjoining Berryville Grille. In addition to the husband-and-wife team of Brian and Heidi McClemens, Brian’s brother Frederick is the Grille’s principal chef. Brian McClemens say that his family trio has a combined 75 years of restaurant experience.

McClemens plans to supplement food sales in his new restaurant with other revenue sources including a plan where patrons buy a coffee mug that has unlimited free refills and collaboration with local artists to display artworks in the dining area that can also be purchased.

Based on McClemens proposed menu pricing he plans to give the other breakfast providers in Berryville a run for their money. “Nothing on the breakfast menu will be more than $8” McClemens said. “Two eggs and toast will be about $3.00”

McClemens says that the new House of Light Coffee House and Gift Shop restaurant will open on January 2nd. The restaurant will offer breakfast beginning at 6:30am followed by lunch. Dinner will be available on Friday and Saturday evenings.


  1. [redacted] If the Grille works, just go with it. The book store failed, so count your “blessings” and let it go. Why risk further failure.

    • “Why risk further failure.”

      It’s that kind of thinking that would never have put us on the moon or given us indoor plumbing. Brian and Heidi are good people and at least they’re trying.

  2. If his prices and food is as good as the Grille…it won’t be a problem!

    • “Black Friday was a bust here in Berryville” McClemens said.

      Hmmmm….any comments on this one? I could think of a few myself!

      • Well, the Pharmacy certainly could have offered up some Black Friday Deals, maybe 10 days extra of a prescription for free. Same with the flower shop. The gas store could have sold some grills or offered free installation and removal of your old water heater. Maybe the consignment shops could have had 2 for 1 deal. Family Dollar and Dollar General had some black friday deals, I think, as well as the hardware store. Food Lion had a great deal on thier brand of chicken and beef stock in a can.

        I can’t believe that folks weren’t wreaking havoc on the streets of Berryville during Black Friday, what with all of our wonderful shopping available right here.

  3. Frank Edwards says:

    Best of luck to them- but who didn’t know this before opening the store:
    “I had hoped that a Christian gift store would have done better with all of the churches in our areas”
    “But competition from Internet companies, especially for purchasing books and Bibles, combined with the tough economy has made it difficult.”

  4. shelmstr1 says:

    I, for one, can’t wait to have breakfast there. I love the homey feel of the House of Light as it is and love eating lunch and dinner at the Grille so now I can have breakfast next door too!

  5. I hope it takes off as well as The Grille. Others breakfast options in town just don’t cut it. I would think a breakfast buffett on the weekends would go over big.

  6. Wondering whether you will be open on Sunday. I loved going out for breakfast, as a kid, after church on Sunday. There are no unique restaurants for breakfast in the area. I am not a “chain” restaurant fan. I love a good omelet or scone or coffeecake—- Yum Best part of Berryville is all its great unique places to eat – hope you are the next success! Good Luck!

    • just letting you know says:

      I was just going to let you know that there are places open for breakfast on Sunday. Janes Lunch, Mackenzie’s, and the Berryville News Stand.

  7. I wish them all the luck. We go to the Grille all the time and absolutely love it. Affordable breakfast options will be well received I think! My only suggestion would be to do as the Grille does and have family friendly programming on the T.V. More and more establishments are opting for 24 hour cable news which can polarize your patrons and is not appropriate for children. Just a friendly suggestion 🙂

    • Brian McClemens says:

      Got ya Townie !! I will do the Food Network .. Thanks for supporting Both of Our Places .. Have a Blessed Day !!

    • How about no tv? It is a distraction, especially when families are trying to have an enjoyable meal with kids. [redacted]

  8. Joe the plumper says:

    If they put up some grits, I’m there!

  9. T.Compher says:

    would love to have delivery for breakfast and lunch. I work at the county office building and we know you could/would have some business there is you consider delivery. Send a menue down to the Treasurers office as soon as you have them ready. Thanks

  10. BlossomButt says:

    I think we need more to offer as well. I for one loved McKenzies, until they got greedy and raised their prices soon after opening and, before that, even charged for carryout containers. Perhaps thats why they are closing earlier and not open as many hours now. Even though we are in a small town, it still will not justify crazy over inflated pricing for a decent meal.

    • Dawn (Makenzie's) says:

      Blossom- We did not get “Greedy” and raise our prices. We did not change our menu until six months after we opened. If you look at the new menu, all entree’s come with choice of a side (fries, side salad, mac salad, mac & cheese, etc). A 1/2lb fresh, hand pattied burger with a side for $7.50, that is not greedy. We actually lowered the prices by including a choice of a side whereas the sides used to cost $1.50. So you are spending a $1 less than you used to. Additionally, the paper product fee stopped in October as planned. We stated that it was temporary until we got the new menu’s out. Our “Winter Hours” are the only reason we altered our schedule one hour earlier & one hour later. As stated on our “Hours”, we will resume the original hours after Winter. It has nothing to do with a lack of business. We made several changes at Makenzie’s over the last two months including staff, menu and business hours. I’m sorry that you feel our prices are inflated. I can assure you if you compare apples to apples, you will not be able to get the amount of food that you get at Makenzie’s anywhere else for less than our menu.

    • Brian McClemens says:

      T. Compher .. I will do that !! There is nothing I would Not do For the Town Of Berryville or anyone who lives or works here !! As I always say… ” I Love This Town ” !! Have a Blessed Day !!

      • J.D. Hutchison says:

        “There is nothing I would Not do For the Town Of Berryville or anyone who lives or works here !! As I always say… ” I Love This Town” ; If you loved this Town you would not isolate yourself and business from the community; cooperate and work together with other businesses to improve your business, not bash or ridicule other businesses. This is a close knit community we don’t bash our own. In this town “WE” do not throw each other under the bus we attempt to fit everyone on it. But if there seems to be trouble makers on such bus, better believe they will be hitch hiking!! “!! Have a Blessed Day !!”

        • And if you want to bad-mouth other local businesses you should atleast do it behind closed doors, not in front of the customers. I mean isn’t that why all the desserts come from Costco now.

        • Where do you get the idea that any business bashing is going on here by him?

          • I believe that comment is from the “real” world. I have heard [redacted] bad mouth other businesses in town in public. I guess he doesn’t understand how small this town is. His talk doesn’t jive with his walk.

          • Well, name the businesses that he’s trash talking. If it’s any of the ones that are run by the good ol boys, then who cares? The good ol boys don’t. My guess is that it’s got to do with the hoops and rings of fire the town makes you jump through to have a business downtown in the first place.

          • Nope, in fact some of the switches he’s made have been to “old boy” establishments. He’s got the right to do what he wants with his business, but when he goes on a tirade about some business based on his self involved perspective, he should realize there’s a pretty good chance he’s talking to a friend of the target of his attack.

          • I’ve heard it.

          • Darren "Fly" Lambert says:

            I keep hearing all of this talk about downtown business’s…Can someone please post a list of them for me?? Is there 2 different Main Street’s?… Or am I just missing something when I drive through?….just askin…

          • No it has to do with being two-faced. You should be a “fly on the wall’ in the kitchen sometime.

  11. There are plenty of low priced meal options – morning, noon, and night in Berryville. Makenzie’s is my favorite for breakfast any time of the day (the husband thinks it is Mecca there! lol)

    If only we had a cinema in town or a store that sold books, cds, and DVDs. Oh well, looks Winchester has to get that business instead. 🙁

    • Thanks so much Missus! We appreciate your business morning, non or night! Tell your Husband thanks as well. Many people in Clarke County enjoy the option of Breakfast all day and the fact that they can come in or we will deliver it right to their door. We wouldn’t have it any other way. As we say Breakfast is the most important meal, so we serve it all day! 🙂 I totally agree about the need of movies, cds, dvds, etc.

    • Archie and Bonnie Justice says:

      Books? Now there’s an idea we hadn’t thought of!

    • CD’s, DVD’s? Netflix on-demand and iTunes has pretty much rendered them to the stone age.

      Books? The Kindle et al are here to stay. Books and CD/DVD cases kill trees and are made of plastic. Not very green thoughts.

  12. Heck, just give me a one stop shop for local meat and produce reasonably priced and I will make my own meals!

  13. Truthhurts says:

    Best of luck!

    Personally I think the space’s only chance is a sports bar & grill. Pool, darts and sports on several flat screens.

  14. BlossomButt says:

    I totally agree with Truthhurts. A sports bar/pub would be perfect. There really is no place in town to go if you just want to get out of the house for a while, unless you want to eat and go back home again. I feel a pub with sports games on, darts, pool tables would do a great business and I for one would go just for the atmosphere, comraderie and maybe a game or tow.

  15. Look at this post from the original House of Light story in the CDN. Looks like you were off John. It was more like 4 months.

    I give the breakfast joint 6 months. Lose the cross and maybe 8 months.

    John says:
    July 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    Out of business in 1 year

  16. Fly on the wall says:

    All of this is fine (well…except for the rumor-mongering and character assassination…nice moderating job there, CDN). But, it’s still a tempest in a teacup about one business trying to make it in an old building downtown with not-the-best parking options and trying to make it in an overcrowded niche (restaurants).

    I’ve been here 13 years…can someone remind me (sans snarky “good ol’ boy” badmouthin) why the parcel(s) near the Food Lion have not been developed yet? ‘Twould seem a good place for a few nice shops and such with decent parking.

    • Just Curious.... says:

      Thats easy! Nobody from the town would ever approve something to go there, unless it personally benefitted them…… Not to mention you have a whole new Clarke/Berryville base that has came from over the MOUNTAIN that loves that ANTIQUE feel…..

      Quite sad really.

    • BlossomButt says:

      From what I have been told, that parcel is owned by someone, perhaps plural, that have business interests in Berryville already, and are holding on to it so competing businesses cannot locate there. Just what I heard, would need to check the land records for proof. Was supposed to be the future site of Tastee Freeze, I do know that, but that was years ago.

      • Jeremy Carter says:

        Pretty ‘dag-gone sure the same ‘fella’ that owns that plot of land out there…is the same ‘fella’…who owns the Tastee [redacted]. Believe he bought that gem of land out there….so that no one else could come in and stand up to the ‘Freeze’. He’s/They’ve just sat on it the entire time to avoid any competition waltzing in….

        One only knows…that it most certainly wouldnt take much to get rid of that place…..

        But..I’ll be honest..I dont know that 100%….that was what I heard a while back myself. Heck, I cant even remember the guys name who owns the [redacted] anymore…

    • I hear the “good ole boys” do anything and everything to prevent the owner of that parcel and former housing developer in that area to bring in anything that may threaten the main street business owners via some competition.

  17. Snake In the Grass says:

    FACEBOOK STATUS FOR TODAY—The House Of light and Cafe’: You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
    3 hours ago · View Feedback (5)Hide Feedback (5)

    The House Of light and Cafe’ Here is How I feel today about all the people slamming me on Clarke Daily News website !!!

  18. Here we go again with the “We hate backwards Berryville” folks. It is called free market enterprise. If you want to stop something from going in a particular place, buy the land and then you control it. What is wrong with that? The Wildlife Federation does it. Some of the battlefield preservation people do it. It is better than asking the government to control it. To the best of my knowledge, the Tastee Freeze owner is not even “from” here so he/she/they would hardly qualify for “good ol boy” status. Come on people. Get your facts straight before redactin about stuff that you know nothing about.

    Perhaps you would rather the local gov’t determine who could buy the land based on why they were buying it. They should only buy it if they promised to build something in so many months and then it would only be ok if it was in direct competition with someone who already had a long standing business.

    It is the American way to buy out the competition if you can.

    I wish you all peace in this Holiday season.

    • Oh if only it were true. You claim knowledge but only have half the info. The town has strict zoning on the area in question. Only the businesses they deem acceptable may be built there, so the reality is they have rigged the game. Maybe you should dig a little deeper before you mount that soapbox.

    • Unwelcome Outsider says:

      Unfortunately, you don’t “control” the land that you own – zoning regulations dictate what you can do with it.

      So whoever owns the the land around Food Lion can’t just start building additional retail stores – it’s not zoned for those types of businesses. Sure, they could appeal to the local government to get the zoning changed, but when the local government consists of folks who: (a) run competing businesses, and (b) are completely anti-growth, you end up at an impasse.

    • Darren "Fly" Lambert says:

      You probably need to get your facts straight before posting….just sayin!

  19. livein22611 says:

    We do not have the population for a chain drug store to move in here. Someone who has nothing else to do (but gripe on here all the time) call CVS corporate and see what demographics they look for when opening a new store. A few grumpy old white men won’t be the criteria. Does the town management hold Berryville down? Your darn right. But it’s small businesses that we need. The chains just aren’t interested. To move Berryville forward you need to get rid of a few people in the new office complex. Wow-didn’t they do a great job with that! haha

    • Just Curious says:

      Oh please! Clarke/Berryville could very well support a CVS. Do you know how many people already travel to Winchester for the meds anyway? A lot! Everyone I know goes to Winchester for that. Its way cheaper! Plus there are other things inside CVS’s that would benefit Berryville as well…..

      Oh well, I guess we need another Dollar Store….

      • Darren "Fly" Lambert says:

        Hmmm…I’d say the corner of Greenwood and Senseny Road has a more demographic appeal than Clarke County….Sorry….Don’t think so!

  20. Good Grief says:

    After living in Clarke County/Berryville for 25 years, I have come to the conclusion that restaurants seems to do well here if they consistently provide good food and good service in a pleasant atmosphere for a reasonable price. If proprietors add elements that narrow the appeal, and therefore potential customers, they are going to have less business and less chance of being successful. There are only so many potential customers here.

    Also, if you run a business – especially in a small town – always be professional. Never, never say anything negative about anyone. Especially not your fellow business folks. Word gets around fast and you are always talking about someone’s friend, family member, etc.

    Of course, I guess we should all remember, if you can’t say something nice, better not to say anything at all.

    • “After living in Clarke County/Berryville for 25 years, I have come to the conclusion that restaurants seems to do well here if they consistently provide good food and good service in a pleasant atmosphere for a reasonable price.”

      What about Jane’s Lunch?

  21. Am I the only one that is not surprised about a bleak Black Friday in Berryville!! What does the town offer in the way of options, deals, variety? A restaurant gift certificate is not on everyone’s list and certainly doesn’t work for out of towners. There is alot of potential in town but someone(s) is stifling the success of the current businesses by not allowing the growth of future businesses so it’s just hanging in limbo. The business model of the existing stores (whether they know it or not)cater to retired/ stay at home people simply because they are not open on weekends (unless of course, you’re a restaurant). Most of those people are on fixed incomes and limit their spending to necessities. Wake up Berryville, it’s the working families you want to draw your way. They have the most disposable income but they are going to Winchester on weekends because our town closes up at noon.

  22. Christie Pace says:

    I for one drive from Charles Town a couple of times per week to enjoy the House of Light store. I bought the everlasting coffee mug that Brian spoke of to receive my coffee in. It has my name written on the bottom of the cup. All I can write to you all is that when I walk in there I immediately feel a sense of peace come over me. Remember the one thing we all have in common with one another is that we are human. We don’t have to cut one down in order to build up another. I enjoy both of the McClemens restaurants and tell many people to go there. Not sure if anyone realizes this or not but you can order books, cds, and dvds from the House of Light. I do and they come in to the store very quickly. The other thing is that the House of Light has also offered the space for FREE to church small groups. You can order all your materials and facilitate the group all right there. I know my womens small group looks for different places to go to meet instead of church or someones house. It is advertised on Comcast channel 10 (the non-profit channel) here in Jefferson County. I don’t believe there is another place anywhere around that will allow you to facilitate a small group study and invite all denominations if you choose to. To me that is pretty cool and mends bridges to our fellow brothers and sisters. So people reach out in love not hate. Love is the answer!

  23. Hmmmm, going on 10 months. Seems to me when The Berryville Grill is packed to capacity for dinner and people are still coming and have to sit next door at The House of Light as overflow…it’s very simply called a succesful operation on both sides of the house. 9 out of 10 restaurants fail in the first year but all the negetive folks that commented could do a MUCH better job I’m sure…

    Nice work Brian and Heidi, both establishments will be a fixture of the community for years to come.

  24. My 2 Cents... says:

    Heck yeah! Love me the Buffalo Chicken Wrap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haters will hate! Keep up the great work~

  25. Bob Jones says:

    I had a hockey puck(aka hamburger) the other night. I won’t be back.