|The Lafayette House B & B to Open in Heritage Hill|
by GRNow.com staff
Grand Rapids' historic Heritage Hill Neighborhood will soon welcome a new bed and breakfast, The Lafayette House. Located on Lafayette NE between Fountain and Lyon, owners Skyelar & Todd Hoort hope to complete renovations and open the 138 year-old home at the beginning of October.
The home has a varied past, one that directly crosses paths with owner Todd. Originally constructed by lumber baron Emmon Ware for his family, the building eventually became a parsonage for the Park Congregational Church in the 1890s. In 1910, it was sold to Edward Frick, vice-president of Judson's Groceries that was headquartered in the building now occupied by The B.O.B. (and inspired the name for Judson's Steak House). By the time Todd's parents purchased the home that he grew up in the 1970's, it had been divided into apartments for nearly 40 years. After moving away to attend college, Todd and his new bride Skyelar moved back in May with the dream of transforming it into a bed & breakfast.
Now, with just a few months before opening, the couple has completed the main floor and is hard at work returning the second floor to its original glory. Once finished, The Lafayette House will have four bedrooms available for rent, each with their own bathroom.
"One thing that will set us apart will be our focus on local products. We will use as many local ingredients as possible for our breakfast offerings and coffee bar," said Skyelar. She plans to team up with Saburba, the new restaurant opening soon in downtown Ada, to provide guests with intimate private dinners and events.
"We will also have a happy hour for our guests with local beer and wine offerings and some quick snacks. Our goal is to give our out of town guests a little taste of what West Michigan has to offer while supporting local farmers and businesses. As a younger, newly wed couple we wanted to step away from what you'd expect at a traditional B&B," Skyelar said. For the Hoorts, that means no doilies and overly restrictive policies, just a focus on a fresher atmosphere.
The house was part of this year's Heritage Hill Home Tour in the spring, so attendees were able to get a 'before' look just as the project was beginning.
You can follow along with the renovation progress on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thelafayettehousebb
Published: July 20, 2012
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