May 22, 2016

The Village Inn wraps up major project

Meg Brazill Photo

Evelyn Brey, co-owner of The Village Inn in Woodstock, gets some work done in the kitchen.

WOODSTOCK — The Village Inn of Woodstock has just gotten a facelift. It not only has a new front porch, it has three of them, one for each story of the building. The inn, owned by Evelyn and David Brey since 2001, has been getting a lot of attention since construction began on the building’s exterior.

Built in 1899, the Victorian-style inn has eight guest rooms that accommodate 16 people, a professional kitchen, tavern and dining room. Although the Breys have been renovating the inn over the past 15 years, including an addition on the side of the building, it’s the construction of the new porches that has grabbed people’s attention.

“People keep saying, ‘Wow, you’re working on the inn,’” Evelyn Brey said with a laugh. “Until we did the porch, nobody paid attention. Fifteen years later, and lots of money and a lot of projects — and people are finally noticing.”

The couple looked for five years before deciding to purchase The Village Inn.

“I knew when we saw this place it could work.” And it has. “It did so much better than I anticipated right from year one.”

But keeping things running smoothly is an ongoing commitment in a building that’s over 115 years old.

“I like everything to be perfect,” Brey said. “In our old house, if something broke we could live with it for a time, but here, everything needs to be working. You need to invest in your business.” Brey says that she and her husband, David, always agree on what needs to be done. This time it was the porch.

There had previously been a three-story porch on the Village Inn and, eventually, it too needed attention. “I’m a guardian of this place and I want to do it right,” Brey said.

After finding a drawing of the original exterior in the basement, they knew what they wanted to do.

“I tore the whole thing off so now it’s the exact footprint of the original,” she said.

All of the porches are accessible from a hallway, so any guest can access them. Brey said Upland Construction did the job.

“They’re fabulous. I’ve never worked with them before. They did most of the work while we were gone.”

The only change from the original design is that the railings are higher to conform to building code.

“All the millwork is architecturally correct,” Brey said. “It was all custom done. All the original railings were reproduced.”

The work was completed on May 12. “And they did a great cleanup. They were fabulous.”

Painting will be underway when the temperatures warm up more, and it will continue to be pink with yellow trim.

According to Brey, the previous owners chose the color after visiting Cape May and seeing the vibrant colors the Victorians there are painted. It makes it easy to spot — it’s the pink one with the three porches.

The Village Inn of Woodstock is located at 41 Pleasant Street in Woodstock. Contact the business at 457-1255 or visit www.villageinnofwoodstock.com for more information.

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