On May 18, 2017, the Cato Hotel made a post on Facebook:
“Who wants to see the doors reopen at The Cato Hotel?” it said.
Built in 1876, the historic site had originally opened its doors as a hotel on West Main Street and, over the next century, it served as a popular gathering place for locals and travelers. But as the hotel changed hands, it transitioned from a place to stay to a place to sway, becoming a restaurant and bar known for its live music, trivia and homemade food.
Then, in September 2015, the Cato Hotel closed, and the white-pillared building remained vacant for months — until Jeff VanDyke drove by this spring.