Few buildings in Downtown Frostburg are as recognizable as the Hotel Gunter. A staggering five-story, balcony bedecked wonder, the building has always been a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. But never has the building been as much of a community staple as this past year under the ownership of Donny and Kristan Carter.
Built in 1897, the $100,000 business venture originally opened as the Hotel Gladstone but was purchased and remodeled by the Gunter family in 1903. The hotel housed 100 rooms, a barbershop, a cafe, a bar, and more. Under the Gunters, electric lighting was added along with a 175 seat dining room. During the early 20th century, the hotel built a jail cell in the basement to house prisoners being transported to Washington D.C. by federal agents. The basement also held a speakeasy and cockfighting arena during Prohibition. These features are frequented by tourists and history buffs quite regularly today.
The Carters had an interest in the building for more than a decade, since they entered into the real estate business, and “when the opportunity arose we tried to jump on it,” Donny stated.
Donny and Kristan had already successfully opened the Toasted Goat Winery in 2016 less than a block down the street from the Gunter. They had been making wine for friends and family for years and decided to produce more varieties and open their own tasting room, becoming the first winery in Downtown Frostburg.
When the Gunter became available it offered room for expansion and new opportunities. The Toasted Goat now offers (in addition to the Carters’ widely enjoyed wine) a variety of craft beers, full bar, a daily lunch and dinner menu, and Sunday brunch. The extensive menus have been carefully crafted by Donny’s brother, Chef Phil, and boasts dishes that have already become Frostburg classics. The Carters have plans to expand further as time goes on.
In addition to the amazing food and drink, the hotel and restaurant also regularly host concerts, art openings, workshops, and are available for meetings and banquets. The hotel has always been a popular location for weddings and photoshoots as a result of its two large banquet halls and “Titanic” central staircase. Tourists can still stay in one of the hotel’s 12 rooms or take in the mountain views from the fifth-floor observation deck.
This Small Business Saturday on November 30th celebrated the one year anniversary of the Gunter Hotel and Toasted Goat grand openings. It is difficult to believe that the two have been open for such a short time. Over the past year, more small businesses opened within the hotel making it a one-stop-shop for many. The Uptown Art Studio, Country Diva Hair Salon, and Gladstone Mercantile (which features bottles of Toasted Goat wine in addition to other Toasted Goat products and local art) have become successful individual businesses that add to the glamour and appeal of the hotel.
Donny stated on the Toasted Goat website when they first opened, “We love this town and are excited about being the new owners of this incredible building and to be part of the growing Arts and Entertainment District of Frostburg. Our first step was to move Toasted Goat Winery from 10 E. Main Street to the hotel. We’ve created an eclectic vibe and we think Toasted Goat is the place to enjoy some favorite Toasted Goat wines, local craft beers and more. We are welcoming guests and tenants to the hotel. We’ve received such positive comments and encouragement from the community.”
Music with Mountain City Center for the Arts
December 21st @ 7pm
Christmas Music with Jacob Blank
December 23rd @ 6pm
Frostburg’s Premiere New Year’s Eve Party featuring music by The Time Flies Band
December 31st @6pm
Buffet style menu includes:
Tossed salad with ranch or Italian dressing
Carving station w/roast tenderloin of beef with a rich demi-glace
Maple glazed pork chop w/fresh peach compote
Grilled salmon w/dill beurre blanc
Penne Alfredo w/chicken and broccoli
Doors open at 6pm with dinner served at 7pm.
Tickets are $60 a person and may be purchased in person at the hotel or restaurant.
Dana Bridges, FrostburgFirst Marketing & Communications Coordinator