Almost Home a political hub? Owner can't fully explain

Sunday, May 1, 2016
Chatting with Heidi Cruz (right), wife of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Almost Home founder Gail Smith takes in yet another political event at her Greencastle restaurant. (Banner Graphic/JARED JERNAGAN)

When Gail Smith co-founded Almost Home tea room 26 years ago, it had nothing to do with politics.

The years have passed and many things have changed -- Almost Home is now a full-fledged restaurant with the Swizzle Stick bar adjoining -- but it still has nothing to do with politics.

And yet lately, the number of politicians who've made a campaign stop at the downtown Greencastle eatery seems to be on the rise.

On Sunday, Republican vice presidential candidate Carly Fiorina became the latest -- and probably most prominent -- politician to visit.

Smith has some ideas about what draws them in, but it isn't her political views, as she draws from both sides of the aisle.

"I have them all," Smith said, "and I couldn't even tell you what (party) I am."

Speaking to Heidi Cruz, wife of presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Smith had one idea of what brings them in.

"We're just a place for hospitality and so glad to be a part of it," Smith told Cruz.

Smith said location -- downtown, right across from the courthouse -- doesn't hurt either.

As for drawing a variety of politicians, Smith credits a couple of key friends.

"I'm friends with Connie Lawson and Susan Crosby and they're two different parties," Smith said.

Indeed, having allies in Republican Secretary of State Lawson, also a longtime state senator from Danville, and former Democrat State Rep. Crosby of Roachdale doesn't hurt for spreading the word in political circles.

In the end, after more than a quarter-century, Almost Home has become what it strives to be, a lot like home.

"It's comfortable. People are familiar with Almost Home," Smith said.

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    -- Posted by Queen53 on Mon, May 2, 2016, at 6:01 AM
  • Look up what party you are at the courthouse. They will tell you how you registered. Cant believe someone doesnt know what party they are. I prefer putnam inn.

    -- Posted by canttakeitanymore on Mon, May 2, 2016, at 9:14 AM
  • All the courthouse will tell you is which party ticket you requested in the Primaries. Your not a "registered" anything in Indiana.

    -- Posted by localman on Mon, May 2, 2016, at 10:25 AM
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