About the Inn
History of 637 N East Street
In 1896, Jonathon Stewart, a carpenter and a contractor, and his wife Alice, built this house as a two family home adjoining two houses together so that their families could live close to each other (John and Alice and their son’s family). You will notice the two different designs of inlaid wood in the floor of the foyer. This is where the two homes were divided. There was no interconnect between the two houses. To get to the other family, you had to go to their front door. There are two staircases and both are carved differently. All the wood floors and woodwork, stairs, doors and fireplaces are original to the home. The square stained glass piece above the fireplace in the lobby and the stained glass panel in Room 1 are also original to the house.
The Stewarts lived in the home until 1910. The entire house was then rented to a long series of short-term tenants including Carl F. Millican, a machinist and aviator and Grant Keener, a cigar maker. By 1999 the house had been divided into 10 apartments and remained a boarding house until it was purchased in 2000. At that time, it was completely renovated and converted from two structures into one called Nestle Inn
. From then until 1999, the house was a boarding house with ten apartments, each with a kitchenette.
In 2000 the house was purchased by the previous innkeepers (Barb and Steve Tegarden) renovated and built into a bed and breakfast. (pictures of the renovation are in the library)
In 2011, today’s owners, Robert and Leesa Smith, purchased the Inn and have modernized the B&B experience for today’s travelers. Leesa has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality, business and nonprofit world. She began her career with Hyatt Hotels Corp here in Indy and then was a manager at the Hyatt Regency Chicago for many years. Dr. Bob has a private practice as a psychotherapist here in Indy and retired in 2013 after 31 1/2 years as a career firefighter and paramedic with the Indianapolis Fire Dept. as the Lieutenant of Station 12. He also provides mental health services and manages Peer Support Teams for IFD as well as surrounding counties and cities to military and public safety members with PTSD. He also provides counseling services for those individuals outside public safety for generalized depress and anxiety and is an EMDR practitioner.
Meet Our Staff. Chef Lytta Strickland
As the Nestle Inn Chef, Lytta creates the wonderful breakfast we serve on the weekend. Chef Lytta and her husband Les owned a successful restaurant in 'the region' for many years and brings her restaurant experience to Nestle Inn. Chef Lytta is a creative chef who makes fresh, simple food taste unbelievable. It is hard to list her specialties but her scones are legendary...... As is her biscotti, egg lasagna, crepes and the Butter Bars. Yes, Chef Lytta is responsbile for those Butter Bars! Next time you visit the Inn, say hello to Chef Lytta in the kitchen! Innkeeper John Feeney
John was born in Chillicothe, Missouri and grew up on his family's farm with his two brothers and sisters. John attended CMSU for Business Management and in 1994 made his way to Indianapolis. Once in Indianapolis, John spent the next 19 years working as Concierge/Evening Manager at The Canterbury Hotel until it's doors were closed permanently in December of 2013. John joins our staff as a part time Innkeeper and always greets guests with his warm smile and welcoming nature. Housekeeper Jeannie Blackburn
Jeannie is our housekeeper and she is always busy making sure each guest room is clean and prepared especially for guests. Jeannie works hard at her job and wants to make sure each guest has everything they need. Jeannie is also a toilet paper folder extraordinaire! She is the one who leaves the fan, tuck, rose or heart fold for you. She is currently working on an Easter bunny fold...... Chef Matthew Mejia: Cooking Class Chef
Chef Mejia was raised on the north side of Indianapolis, and received his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Joliet Jr. College in 1990, and an Associate Degree in Pastry Arts from The Chef’s Academy in 2009. He has 30 years of culinary experience, and has worked in many cities; Chicago, Madrid, Phoenix, Sydney, and Indianapolis. His expertise is in Mediterranean food, predominantly Spanish, as well as Southwestern, Cajun, and Australian cuisines.
In 2003 he and his brother developed a wine importing business which was in operation for about 3 years. Wine is another passion of his, and chef Mejia is currently studying for the exam to become a “Certified Sommelier”.
After his restaurant experience, he became an instructor at The Chef’s Academy. Currently Chef Mejia is working on his Bachelor’s degree in the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at Harrison College Chef Lauren Saffel: Cooking Class Chef
Chef Lauren Day grew up in Crawfordsville Indiana and moved to Indianapolis after she graduated high school to study pastry arts at The Chef's Academy. She graduated with high honors from the Chef's Academy and loves sharing her passion for pastries. Chef Lauren has been creating custom cakes since she was 12 years old and has been running a small dessert business for over 8 years. She also worked at one of Indianapolis's most famous family owned bakeries, Taylor's Bakery. Chef Lauren currently works for The Chef's Academy as a high school relations specialist traveling to local Indiana schools, conducting cooking demos, and helping high school students learn more about their interest in pursuing a career in the culinary industry. Chef Anna Powell : Cooking Class Chef
Anna's great grandmother began teaching her how to cook at the age of 10. She grew up in a community of hunters and fishermen and worked on farms as a child. At 14, she traded her overalls and gardeners gloves for a servers apron and waitressed in a small bistro. At 18, she transitioned to corporate America and quickly progressed into management. In 2009, she arrived in Indiana from Southwest Michigan. After moving downtown, she joined a professional women's group and attended a presentation about living your life's passion. Walking out of that meeting, she decided to pursue her passion: all aspects of food. Since then, Anna has graduated from culinary school, became a Slow Food Indy board member, Second Helpings volunteer and catering program manager at Ivy Tech Community College's Hospitality department. Last year, Anna started a business growing micro greens, baby lettuces and selling her products at four area farmers markets. Curretly, she is majoring in Philanthropy and Non-Profit Management, at Indiana University Lily School of Philanthropy.