It was only after a few years of paying rent at the Ironstone that Kevin and I decided we wanted to be our own Landlords, and began to look for an appropriate space for our next restaurant. We looked all over Chestertown, including the spot that currently houses the Lauretum Inn, which was a wonderful building but was going for more money than we had in our budget. We drove down to Centreville and poked around there, but knew that was too far for us to commute on a daily basis. Finally we settled on Kennedyville: town water and sewer, Village Zoning which could be commercial, and what a great commute!
In 1992 we purchased the old "Myers" place, once known as "The Showplace of Kennedyville". When we bought it, the current owners were part-time residents, doing a bit of demolition/renovation. During their tenure the pipes on the second floor burst and destroyed the downstairs kitchen, so when we came on the scene, not only was the house in a huge state of disrepair, it was also partially demolished, had no kitchen and was basically uninhabitable. Perfect!
The first thing we did was put on a new roof and remove the ailing porch. Then it sat there for a few years, with the neighbor's children (and I think the Dad as well) keeping the grass down...later we would hire three of these children to work at the Kennedyville Inn. In 1994 we started with the process of complete renovation.
|The KVI as it looked when we bought it in 1992.|
|The foyer: stairs would be removed later.|
|November 1992 - waiting for help.|
|Roy Mears, on his giant car/cell phone!|
|The toilet on the porch defined the building for many months.|
Help came in the form of Roy Mears, contractor extraordinaire...he began the massive project in November 1994, after zoning changes, permits and all the other hoops had been jumped through.
|The entire back was added on to contain the kitchen and bathrooms.|
|Kevin on "the line".|
|The walls for the addition go up.|
|Meanwhile, a new entryway would be built on this side, and a deck to replace the porch.|
|Ask Roy how he liked working with Grinnell in putting in this $10,000 sprinkler system.|
We had both the Ironstone and the Kennedyville Inn for 18 months. The longest 18 months of my life. Eventually we sold the Chestertown business and spent 9 years smoking ribs and serving dinner at our own Kennedyville Inn. We were the landlords at last!
Next up, some of the fine people (and dogs) who made the Kennedyville Inn great!