BELGRADE – The Village Inn and Tavern in Belgrade Lakes held a celebration on Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of its use as a hostel.
The afternoon rally drew local residents and others, who shared summers stories at the Great Pond Stream Inn and Restaurant.
Eric Hoogland from the Belgrade Historical Society opened the celebration with a story of the restaurant now famous for its roast duck.
Hoogland said The Village Inn opened a century ago as Locust House. It belonged to Ed Megill, who first came to Belgrade shortly after 1900 and became a guide. Megill bought the property in 1921, opening The Locust House that same year.
Today, Kate Beales and her partner, Heather Pena, own the business at 157 Main Street, having bought it in 2014 from Charles and Susan Grover.
Beales said his family spent three generations in the area, including a camp on Great Pond that his grandparents bought in 1930.
“It was the opportunity of a lifetime to buy the inn,” Beales said.
After World War II, the economy slowed down and passenger rail service to the area was cut off in the 1950s. Additionally, a nearby inn, the Red Oaks Lodge, burned down and another fire ravaged the community. in 1956.
Around this time, Paul Provandie, a longtime summer visitor, bought an abandoned restaurant and turned it into the Lobster Pot, now known as the Sunset Grille.
Provandie was then approached by Megill, who had offered to sell Provandie The Locust House for $ 10,000.
Provandie agrees to buy the building and spends two years renovating it. The Village Inn opened in 1969, featuring a simmered duck recipe and pies made by Provandie’s wife, Priscilla. Both recipes remain must-haves today at the Village Inn.
The ownership has continued to change over the years with Beales and Pena becoming the seventh owners and stewards of the property. Beales and Pena have experience as a chef, in marketing and in advertising.
“It’s our job to keep the history alive, while modernizing its food and service to reflect today’s taste,” Beales said. “We have updated our menu in a respectful manner to help us keep moving forward.”
The famous roast duck recipe, however, has not been changed, although attempts have been made in the past.
“Kate has done a wonderful job carrying on the Village Inn tradition,” said Charles Grover. “There are many stories we can all tell about, but the most important story is about the people who come to the Village Inn regularly – each of you, your friends and loved ones who make it such a special place. .
“He holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Belgrade and those who have been here for years. “
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