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Deerfield Inn now expected  to re-open in early April

Recorder/Paul Franz
 The Deerfield Inn in Old Deerfield has been closed since Irene in 2011

Recorder/Paul Franz The Deerfield Inn in Old Deerfield has been closed since Irene in 2011

DEERFIELD — The Deerfield Inn expects to re-open its doors to the public in early April, nearly 20 months after Tropical Storm Irene flooded the historic building with 5 feet of water and temporarily shuttered its doors.

Though the detached 13-room Carriage House re-opened in June to host guests in the summer and fall, the 11-guest room main building that also contains Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern continues to undergo renovations. The main part of the inn has been closed since the August 2011 storm sent water from the Deerfield River over its banks and into nearby farms, businesses and homes.

The 128-year-old inn, located on Main Street in Old Deerfield, has since twice missed out on its most popular time of year in October when leaf-peepers flock to the Mohawk Trail to see the crimson hills of the Pioneer Valley.

For the past 26 years, innkeepers Karl and Jane Sabo have run the inn. Historic Deerfield Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to the heritage and preservation of Deerfield and the Connecticut River Valley, owns it.

Karl Sabo says he had expected the inn and tavern to open this month or January, but after construction began, that date was pushed back.

“It’s a moving target,” Sabo said. “As we build, we discover things that take more time. We’re hoping to be open in the restaurant in early April.”

The renovations will turn Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern into a large public tavern as opposed to a facility reserved for guests. The bar and kitchen, electrical wiring, and plumbing have been completed and the walls are up and the seats installed, Sabo said. The innkeepers have upgraded the electrical, heating and ventilation system.

The capacity of the restaurant will grow from a four-seat bar and 30-seat tavern to a 20-seat bar and 100-seat tavern. Champney’s will also include a 60-seat terrace cafe.

Sabo said the changes will ensure the inn will remain a mainstay in the community for many years.

“We are committed to having an inn that will serve the community for another 40 years. We’re committing to the future of the inn to ensure a good property for generations to come,” Sabo said.

The final cost remains unknown until construction is complete. It also depends on the final settlement with the insurance company, Sabo said.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 268

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