History of Carolina House
Carolina House is one of the longest-running independently owned restaurants in Columbia County. It was originally created by a successful New York City restaurateur in 1983 and was purchased by local businessman, Michael J. Liptak, in 1988. Shortly after Michael passed away in 2004 the restaurant temporarily closed, but Michael’s three daughters, known as “the Liptak sisters” by friends and locals, reopened Carolina House in June 2006 driven by their desire to keep their father’s passion alive.
And Carolina House story continues…
In 2010, The Liptak sisters hired Tammy Crawford, who had worked for their father when he opened in 1988 as waitress, hostess, baker, etc. Tammy soon became manager of Carolina House as the Liptak sister’s families grew and their other professions became too busy. In November 2013, Tammy and her husband Keith, who had also worked with Michael Liptak in the 80’s, took over the business as a lease agreement. Tammy and Keith’s love for the customers, staff, and the business itself drove them to take over to ensure Carolina House remained the same cozy, yet upscale restaurant that the customers have come to know and love.
By 2016, Tammy and Keith were unable to purchase the business for their own and along came Leonardo Castellanos. Leo’s brother Enrique had started working for the Liptak’s in 2006 as head chef, and Leo was always around to help out for the holidays and fill-in as needed. Leo has quite a history of his own, working at the Blue Plate in Chatham for 10 years before opening Magdalena’s Menu in Valatie and the Chatham Grill in Chatham.
Carolina House is truly a family story, with Leo being the new owner, Tammy staying on as manager, and even some of the Liptak kids working from time to time. Carolina House couldn’t have found a better partnership.