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Popular Eatery Closes After Being In Business For More Than Half-Century In Area

Smalley Inn in downtown Carmel has closed.
Smalley Inn in downtown Carmel has closed. Photo Credit: File photo

A popular restaurant in the area completed its last service after more than half a century since its owner took over the eatery.

Putnam County staple Smalley’s Inn in the heart of Carmel officially closed as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, owner Anthony Porto, Sr., announced, citing financial concerns at the eatery.

The restaurant has been open for more than 55 years.

In a press release issued in advance of the restaurant’s closing, the Porto family expressed its appreciation to the community, staff and the vendors that they have worked with for decades.

Smalley’s was first opened in 1852 by James Smalley and was rebuilt in 1924 after a fire damaged the interior of the structure. Tony Porto took over the restaurant with his mother in 1968.

In recent years the inn has become very well known for its ghosts, is registered as a haunted place, and has been checked out by numerous paranormal investigators, including the Travel Channel's "The Dead Files," which can be found on the channel's website.

Porto once said that at least 11 ghosts occupied the inn.

The inn was allegedly used as a mortuary at one time, and Porto says some of the spirits - including a little girl named Elizabeth Smalley, who was killed as a toddler, daughter of original owner James, - decided they didn't want to make the trip up the street to the cemetery when the bodies were buried.

Witnesses have had their clothing tugged on, have seen ghostly figures of a man, woman and child, and, on one occasion, every cell and house phone went off at exactly the same time, with each call originating from a phone within the building.

Porto has had experiences in the upstairs apartment where he resides, and the inn's staff members have their own stories of happenings in the kitchen and basement liquor closet and meat locker.

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