Diners have enjoyed the natural setting of River Inn along the river at Suck Creek Road for decades.
Now, they can reserve the former restaurant and have the place to themselves with the start of River Inn Events.
River Inn has gone through several owners in its lifetime.
First opened as a bait and tackle shop about 40 years ago, the place didn’t offer food until about 20 years ago under the ownership of Roy and Betty Cronon. It burned in 1994 and reopened in 1996 as a restaurant.
Dr. William and Ann Cornwell bought the restaurant in 2004, remodeled it, screening in a large 3,000-square-foot deck, and operated it as a restaurant for two years before leasing it to new restaurateurs in 2006 for a few months. It’s stood empty for about a year, until now.
“But we had so many calls for events this past summer, we decided to rent the space out for private events,” Mrs. Cornwell said.
Though the building had been renovated a couple of years ago by the latest restaurant owners, it still needed an update.
“We weren’t prepared to rent it out last summer,” Mrs. Cornwell said. “The electricity had been turned off and so had the water. So, after people kept calling asking about renting it out for events such as weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners and class reunions.”
After a professional cleaning it now open for business, and Mrs. Cornwell said several parties have already been booked, even a couple into the fall of 2009. There are two large dining rooms, one with a massive stone fireplace.
Event planner Morgan Wilder, owner of Soiree Events, said there’s a need for more party venues, particularly those that allow hosts to bring their own food or caterer and beverages, which River Inn Events allows.
“It allows you to have the food of your choice and not be limited to a menu that’s already designed for you,” she said.
And the river setting at River Inn is an added plus, Ms. Morgan said. “It gives you a change from the typical outdoor or ballroom setting. There’s definitely a need for new facilities like that.”
Parking space is important, too, she said. And River Inn Events has plenty. There’s space for cars in a large parking lot as well as street parking along Suck Creek Road.
The facility can accommodate upward of 200 partygoers. Plus it can handle another 125 people on the upper deck and 50 visitors on the lower deck during warmer weather.
The cost for parties booked at River Inn Events is $700 on weeknights and $900 on weekends, which includes cleaning afterward.
For more information, log onto www.riverinnevents.com