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Welcome Library Kitchen & Bar to the Tembo Family

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We are thrilled to welcome Library Kitchen & Bar to the Tembo family! Read on for some fascinating insight into the restaurant’s history, the impressive resume Chef Johannes Klapdohr brings to the table, and the experience that awaits at this unique establishment.


The rich history of Library Kitchen & Bar is beautifully intertwined with Sapphire Valley’s growth into a thriving community. The property it sits on was first developed in the 1950s as Gene Howard Sr.’s vision for a golf course community soon became the acclaimed Sapphire Valley Resort. The restaurant itself is housed in Sapphire Valley’s oldest structure dating back to 1864. Initially named The Library Restaurant and Club, it was once a vital part of a farm that supplied goods to the Fairfield Inn. It transformed into a private dining club in 1992, preserving its architectural charm before undergoing significant renovations in 1999. It quickly became a beloved spot for fine dining and community gatherings. However, in 2010, it temporarily closed.
The legacy persevered as Marvin Gralnick and Johannes Klapdohr recognized its historical importance and embarked on a comprehensive restoration project. In 2016, their efforts resulted in the revival of the restaurant as Library Kitchen + Bar, honoring its heritage while further cementing its legacy in the story of Sapphire Valley.

Chef Johannes

Johannes Klapdohr was born in Germany to a family of hoteliers and restauranteurs that can be traced back four generations. It didn’t take long for him to join their legacy as he developed a profound passion for cooking during his upbringing in his family’s hotel. His culinary journey commenced with an apprenticeship in 1982, setting the stage for an impressive career. Chef’s unwavering dedication and talent in the kitchen quickly led to notable achievements, including recognition as the youngest finalist in the esteemed German culinary competition, the “Rudolf Achenbach Preis.”
His culinary career truly began to take off as he refined his skills alongside some of the best chefs in the world. He gained valuable experience at esteemed establishments including “Hotel Bareiss” and “Restaurant Aubergine” under Eckard Witzigmann’s mentorship. This soon led him to assume the role of Executive Chef at “The Lodge at Sea Island,” where his leadership led to significant accolades as a top ranking small-sized golf hotel.
Working in a diverse range of culinary settings, Johannes served as the Executive Chef at “Schloss Glienicke” in Berlin before bringing his talents to the United States during the Olympic Games in Atlanta. There, he excelled at “Nikolai’s Roof,” which was recognized as a top US restaurant and awarded the Mobile four-star in 2000. He then chose to focus on his passion for sustainability at the “Culinary Vegetable Institute” and “Chef’s Garden, Inc.,” collaborating with numerous prominent corporations.
Some of his most impressive work came as he co-founded “Old Edwards Inn” in Highlands, NC. Just seven years after its opening in 2009, it became a Relais & Chateau property and gained worldwide recognition as TripAdvisor’s #24 hotel in the world and #1 hotel in the US. He would soon meet local artist and entrepreneur Marvin Gralnick, who was looking for the perfect chef to open a renovated restaurant in a historic venue in Sapphire Valley. The rest is history!

The Menu

Indulge in a culinary journey through our menu inspired by worldly and local Appalachian cuisine. Our chefs craft each dish with precision and passion, ensuring a symphony of flavors that tantalize the taste buds. Some of the Library’s signature dishes include the Berkshire Pork Ribeye, Dill Pollen-seared Local Rainbow Trout Fillet, Black Truffle Mac & Cheese, and Lobster Lollipops with a Jack Daniels Honey Glaze. The menu even features seasonal offerings that showcase the freshest locally sourced produce, elevating every bite.

Special Events

The Library Kitchen + Bar knows just how to put the “special” in special event! Each room features intriguing and thought-provoking art on the walls, providing a uniquely fun vibe that is sure to have you and your guests hooked. Not to mention their mouthwatering menu featuring a variety of entrees, sides, desserts, and drinks for all types of tastebuds. Add in the talent and outgoing personality of Chef Johannes and you have all the ingredients for an outstanding private event.


In addition to the impressive achievements mentioned above, Chef Johannes has catered over 800 events throughout across 20 years of catering experience. He gained much of this experience while managing catering services and crafting menus at esteemed resorts like Old Edwards Inn & Spa and The Lodge at St. Simon’s Island in GA. Bringing an unmatched level of expertise to Western North Carolina, Chef Johannes specializes in personalized menu creation and dedicated consultations with every client. This approach ensures that the cuisine impeccably aligns with and enhances the unique essence of each event.
Tembo is thrilled to embark on this journey with our friends at Library Kitchen & Bar! From their building’s historic significance to the outstanding cuisine served within their walls, the Library is a truly special addition to our growing portfolio. If you are ever in the Sapphire Valley/Cashiers area, be sure to stop by and tell them Tembo sent you!
Address: 184 Cherokee Trail, Sapphire, NC 28774