The Loft Restaurant201 W Orange St, Lancaster, PA 17603
THE LOFT, a dream realized by a gifted chef. With owner Gunter, at the helm, culinary destination is poised to be a contender for one of the country's top restaurants. Its eclectic menu is executed with panache, while the space itself has been warmed considerably from its previous incarnations. THE LOFT reflects a cozy atmosphere, intimately casual, yet elegant with beautiful architectural treatments and an interesting interior decor. THE LOFT's non-pretentious atmosphere is achieved through a flowing residential design, a home-away-from-home where the chef/owner pampers his guests nightly. Stringent standards of excellence in service, food presentation, and quality ingredients, married with delicious innovative cuisine concepts, complete the dining experience. CASUAL FINE DINING AT ITS BEST! A short stroll from Lancaster's Penn Square will lead you to one of the Red Rose City's most elegant dining establishments, The Loft Restaurant. Standing at the entrance to the restaurant you are immediately inundated by the aroma of escargots, filet mignons, and roasted ducklings being served. These delicious smells are enough to make your mouth water and your stomach begin to growl.Located at 201 West Orange Street in downtown Lancaster, The Loft is renowned for its unique atmosphere and even more so, for its outstanding cuisine. The building in which The Loft is located, has been a dining establishment since the late 1800's. The eatery preceding The Loft was called Buckius Caf. The original restaurant owner gave the name, The Loft, to the establishment in October of 1973.Why the restaurant is called The Loft is obvious when you enter the second of two dining rooms. Looking upwards you will see a rustic, open beam design that is adorned with potted plants and various antiques. Lining the walls are various knick-knacks and framed paintings from all over the world.In 1987, European Master Chef, Gunter Backhaus bought the restaurant. At the time Backhaus was quoted as saying that it was his goal to make The Loft one of the finest restaurants in Lancaster. According to patrons that have been eating at the restaurant for years, he has accomplished this goal.Although owning his own restaurant was a new experience for Backhaus, cooking was not. Backhaus began his culinary career as an apprentice in Dusseldorf, Germany. Gaining the culinary skills he needed, Backhaus left his native Germany at the age of 18 to pursue bigger and better culinary opportunities. He traveled the world, working in hotels and restaurants in places such as Mexico, Bermuda, France, the Bahamas, Spain and England. The next stop on Backhaus' journey was the United States.Backhaus arrived in New York in the 1970s. A trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania presented him with a great opportunity, the Brunswick Hotel offered him the position as head chef. It was an opportunity that Backhaus could not pass up. He later moved around the country to places such as Detroit, St. Louis, and Florida, where he held head chef positions, but his ties to Lancaster held true and he returned in the late 1970's. From then until the early 1980s, Backhaus held the position of head chef at the Lancaster Host Resort. It seemed that Lancaster would be his final working place.When he was working at the Lancaster Host Resort, Backhaus received a call from the Grove Park Inn, a posh hotel in Asheville, North Carolina. The inn was looking for an executive chef. Once again, it was an opportunity that he couldn't pass up. In 1986, Backhaus, moved to North Carolina where he would manage a 60-cook, six-kitchen operation for the next year. While in North Carolina, Backhaus learned of a restaurant that was for sale in Lancaster. Owning his own restaurant was something of which Backhaus had always dreamed. In the next few months his dream came true."You have to make a choice whether you want to work for yourself or work for somebody else," he said.