It was Newhart that inspired Bill Kennedy to be an innkeeper and it was his looming retirement from the military after 29 years as a Security Policeman that started his quest for an inn. Linda and Bill Kennedy found the perfect opportunity in Danbury where they plan to open a gift shop and specialized bed and breakfast in the coming months.
Bill’s crusade to find an inn began with an internet search in 2007 to find inns for sale in the New England area but when the Inn at Danbury with its German Cuisine popped up for sale at $895,000, Bill knew it might be some time before he found one in his price range and that was available when he retired. To gauge the market Bill put the Inn at Danbury in his favorites list and monitored the drop in price hoping to use is as a baseline. What he never expected, was this inn would continue to drop and was bank-owned by the time he retired. A few lucky events occurred and they moved in November of 2011.
Bill and Linda are social and this is a great venue to interact with people but they also realize that this requires a big commitment of time and money. The inn suffered some neglect and still requires some major renovations to get it ready. They are undaunted as they make the necessary renovations leading to the target opening in Jun. Currently the Inn is occupied by them, their two Weimaraners, a Shi Tzu, and two cats. They are visited quite regularly by some of their 14 siblings or local and military friends.
They changed the name to The Patriot Inn at Danbury, capitalizing on Bill’s appreciation for history and they are mulling several new names for the restaurant/bar when that opens. Linda set her sights on an another passion: She will open a gift and thrift shop which is an extension of their current on-line business and previous collectibles business where they operated/owned Sports Fan-Attic in North Hampton. The first phase will be the gift shop, followed by the opening of the themed rooms for functions such as corporate retreats, weddings, reunions, or group functions. The inn is currently equipped with six themed (Victorian, Rose, African Journey, European Gasthaus, Wild West, and Victory) ready rooms. They plan to push this to 11 rooms by the fall. The third phase will be to open the restaurant/bar and swimming pool to guests.
There were many furnishing left with the inn but Linda and Bill have accumulate many antiques during his military travel and they are busy placing and reorganizing based on period of the furniture which ranges 1880 to Art Deco piece of the 1920s and 1930s. With his interest in history Bill wants to maintain the period atmosphere and is considering holding period events such as revolutionary, civil war, and WWII balls/reenactments.
There is plenty of work ahead and much of this is still a dream. Bill admits he also has other professional ambitions such as teaching, coaching, mentoring because he is not quite sure what his calling is, and his love of children, elderly, animals, and people in general could sway him into another professional venue. Another run for Governor or political office? He doesn’t rule it out but for now his focus is on the Patriot Inn at Danbury!