COTTAGE HOTEL OF MENDON
Town historians date the tavern (which was also a stage coach stop) to the year 1822. That makes the Cottage Hotel almost 200 years old!
Mary Anne Heckman-Lewis stopped by to see us in 2005 when we began renovations. She lived upstairs with her family in the late 1950's early 60's. My office was her living room. She remembers hearing all of the laughter downstairs at night, and her mother at the kitchen sink (which then looked out over the back yard). She also recalls the circus caravan parking in front of the barn next door! We're going to be renovating the barn soon, and hopefully we'll uncover some artifacts from days gone by.
The Van Castiles were the owners prior to the Heckman's, and some of them still stop by on occasion to say hello.
In the 70's and 80's there was some turnaround, with "Burdock" being spoken about most frequently! His era featured lines out the door and great music overflowing from the building and out onto the street.
We’ve kept the music alive here through many generations. I even have an album from 1979 that was recorded here. “Slipton Fell” still play here once every so many years, and have been since the late 1970's.
It’s true that we've been known for our “Cottage Burger” for decades, but the current generation of customers gave us the confidence and support we needed to evolve into a full-service restaurant with talented chefs, bartenders and servers, a full menu, and more and more items coming from local farms, artisans, and craft beverage-makers.
I enjoy listening to long-time customers talk about their parents bringing them here when they were little, married couples who met here, and families who were raised here. It's wonderful to think about my own daughter one day telling stories of being raised in the Cottage family (she loves getting to know the customers). Some years I feel like I've held more babies than a midwife, as young families bring in their new little ones—the next generation of the Cottage Hotel family.
And yes, there are ghosts! We had a ghost consultant come in and measure activity, and the staff were able to communicate with the spirits who live here. Most of the time they seem happy that the Cottage continues to provide them music, laughter and good company provides them—and once in awhile they get frustrated and everything breaks at once!