Luray, VA – A year has passed since a “closed for renovations” sign appeared on the Mimslyn Inn marquee located off West Main Street in Luray. Looking back on the 365 days, millions of dollars, countless hours, and numerous jobs created, The Mimslyn Inn is ready to celebrate and will reopen to a black tie event.
The property, built in 1931, had fallen into disrepair until purchased in 2005 by the Asam Family, owners of the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, WV. Today, the gracious atmosphere showcases beautifully restored hardwood floors, grand entryways, and crystal chandeliers. Elegant fabrics, rich patterns, and classic furnishings fill guest and common rooms. Brickwork, interior finishes, paint, windows, and floors have all been retouched, repaired and modernized. The previously unfinished basement is now home to a spa, fitness room, and restaurant and bar fondly named The Speakeasy. The formal dining room, Circa ’31, is where Executive Chef Richard A. Mellar delights the senses with upscale Southern cuisine.
“It is a dream come true”, states General Manager Victoria Thomas. After 9 years in her position, Mrs. Thomas, still remembers entering The Mimslyn Inn for the first time, “I felt like I was home”. Victoria has spent most of her career in hospitality; her parents owned and managed the Orkney Springs Hotel for 37 years. She describes the property as a community icon; “many Luray residents have a piece of the Mimslyn in them. Over the years, all big town events and special occasions have been held here”. Many including Mrs. Thomas are grateful the Asam family chose to restore the Inn and preserve a significant piece of Luray history.
Local contactors were hired from across the Shenandoah Valley to restore and renovate 45 rooms and suites, 2 restaurants, 2 bars, 2 banquet rooms, an executive kitchen, a dining room, lobby, office, and other exterior/interior enhancements. J. Rex Burner of Luray worked on the plumbing, Trumbo Electric from Broadway rewired and modernized, Harman Construction in Harrisonburg managed the crews, Jan Huss of Culpeper decorated from top to bottom, Happy Valley Greenhouse of Luray hand laid entry pavers and back patio, and Wood’s Edge Landscape Company planted acres of grass, trees, scrubs and installed the fountain at the entrance.
Service standards are a priority and new positions have been created with professional staff hired. Evan Pettrey will manage the front desk, Scott Stephens works as the Dining and Beverage Manager, and Patressa Kearns, Event Planner, heads wedding and event coordination. A Strasburg based hotel management company, Guests, Inc., will oversee Inn operations and also provide marketing and training support.
The Mimslyn Inn is back and ready for guests!
For additional information see our website, www.mimlsyninn.com. Reservations can be made by calling, 540-743-5105 or 800-296-5105.
Complete your weekend with a lavish Sunday Brunch served in our main dining room, Circa ’31. Relax in an elegant setting while enjoying one of Luray’s most favorite brunch buffets. The menu is ever changing as Chef Mellar, specializing in upscale Southern cuisine, surprises the palate with seasonal dishes. Our signature breads, muffins and other sweet treats are prepared daily by Pastry Chef, Sabre. Brunch is served every Sunday from10:30am-2:00pm. Reservations are recommended.
Article in the Washington Post
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Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant at The Mimslyn Inn “Meet me at the Speakeasy and tell them Joe sent you”, whisper new arrivals at one of Luray, Virginia’s most popular smoke-free bar and restaurant, The Speakeasy.
Like most Speakeasies established in the 1920’s and 30’s, the 401 West Main Street address is also hidden from view with a side entrance at the east end of The Mimslyn Inn. You would never know this basement space was an old carriage house before recent renovations transformed the concrete floors and exposed brick into an intimate setting with low lights, flat screen TV’s, and plenty of food and beverages to please every palette! The exterior walls show the Mimslyn’s architecture was ahead of its time in utilizing fire-proof brick. The interior walls are covered in gold baroque paper with black and white mug shots and Hollywood 30’s infamously elite posed.
The design, reminiscent of the walk-down Brown Stones of Lower Manhattan, also showcases the back-lit stained glass windows similar to those found in Chicago’s Market District in the 1920s and 1930s. The Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant also boasts thickly padded faux leather booth seating and intimate tables for two, as well as a step-up bar where, it seems, everybody knows your name. Luxurious two-tone wood appointments, wrought iron bar stools, and graceful lighting sconces harken back to that era of Flappers, Bourbon Street Jazz, and bootleg liquor where gangsters and starlets shared the forbidden pleasures of John Barleycorn and bathtub gin in the back room pubs of New York, Chicago and Miami. Enjoy the old-time pleasure of talking late into the night as you “sip suds” under the watchful eyes of Elliot Ness, Frank Nitty and Alphonso “Scarface” Capone. Drinks are not the only thing served at The Speakeasy. Executive Chef Richard Mellar’s menu offers a more casual version of The Mimslyn Inn’s fine dining restaurant, Circa ’31. Our Friday night regulars, The Porch Rockers, dine on sliders, salmon sandwiches, and waffle fries while listening to live music, and catching up on weekly news. Most have forgotten the lobby bar where the “Rockers” first began gathering over 18 years ago, and are delighted with the attitude, ambience, and low-key experience at The Speakeasy.
The Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant embraces the era when The Mimslyn Inn was built; an era of gracious living and Southern Hospitality. Today, surround yourself in a sophisticated blend of quality and comfort featuring a fine selection of guest rooms and suites, contemporary Southern cuisine, and spa treatments. The Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant is open to the public from 4:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. every night. The Mimslyn Inn also features 45 rooms and suites, Circa ’31 for fine dining, wedding and event space, and Seasons Spa.
The Mimslyn Inn was the location of a 2010 Premier Bride Magazine Featured Wedding Winner.
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The Mimslyn Inn is proud to announce that we have won a 2011 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence! The Certificate of Excellence is awarded to qualifying accommodations, attractions and restaurants listed on TripAdvisor that maintain a high overall user rating and a high volume of recent and quality reviews.
The Mimslyn Inn is proud to announce that Jim Sims, General Manager/Host of The Mimslyn Inn in Luray Virginia, has been named the 2011 Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association (VHTA) Lodging Manager of the Year. This award recognizes exemplary action and dedication by a Manager of a VHTA lodging member.
The VHTA Outstanding Industry Awards recognize leaders in hospitality and tourism who dedicate their time, talents and service in achieving nothing less than excellence. “I am proud to recognize these outstanding leaders among the members of the tourism industry for their dedication to service and to their profession,” Jenifer Jackson, Chairwoman, Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association.
Mr. Sims, a veteran hotelier and certified chef, has shown his passion for serving the traveling public. Mr. Sims has received top rankings from clients and guests alike, including the Certificate of Excellence Award by Trip Advisor due to the high number of excellent reviews of guests who have stayed at the property. He exemplifies the definition of a Host by positioning his desk in the lobby so that he may greet, welcome, and entertain as many of his guests as possible. His dedication to the field and initiative to create events such as a birthday party to celebrate the Shenandoah National Park’s 75th and The Mimslyn Inn’s 80th Birthday exemplify his distinct commitment to his profession and the local community.
The Mimslyn Inn, built in 1931, was purchased in 2005 by the Asam Family, owners of the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, WV. Upon purchasing The Mimslyn, the Asam Family completed a multi-million dollar historic restoration of inn. The Mimslyn Inn is managed by Guests, Inc – a full-service hotel management company based in Strasburg, VA (www.guestsinc.com).
Honored as a Highly Rated Hotel as Reviewed by Travelers on the World’s Largest Travel Site
The Mimslyn Inn is pleased to announce that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
“The Mimslyn Inn is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Jim Sims, General Manager and Host of The Mimslyn Inn. “We strive to offer our guests a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.”
“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional businesses for consistent excellence, as reviewed by travelers on the site,” said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives highly rated establishments around the world the recognition they deserve.”
The Mimslyn Inn is pleased to announce that we were just awarded the 5 Stem Virginia Wine Master’s Award from the Virginia Wine Board. This program highlights the businesses that are taking the localvore movement to the next level, specifically as it regards to their efforts in promoting and selling Virginia wines. In order to qualify for the program, businesses need to meet set credentials based on the number of Virginia wines they have available for customers, as well as their promotional and display activities throughout the year.
“Though we are working to rebuild this program, the Virginia Wine Master’s Program already showcases the support Virginia wineries receive from trade partners around the Commonwealth and DC,” states Annette Boyd, director of the Virginia Wine Marketing Office. “As the industry continues to grow, the support from restaurants and wine shops is essential. We appreciate everything these businesses are doing to raise awareness and appreciation of Virginia wines and we encourage consumers to support them in their efforts.”
“The Mimslyn Inn is a proud supporter of Virginia wine. Each month I personally take staff members on a local field trip to various Virginia wineries so we are able to pass on first-hand knowledge to our guests about Virginia wines and the wine making craft” said Jim Sims, General Manager of the Mimslyn Inn. The Mimslyn features a variety of Virginia wines on our wine menu. In addition, each Friday and Saturday evening, our Circa ’31 dining room provides the backdrop for an evening of excitement, wine tasting and a culinary feast. Our Executive Chef prepares an elegant five-course menu which is complemented with a variety of Virginia wines for custom pairings to create an exceptional dining experience. The menu changes weekly as our Chef likes to use fresh, local ingredients. Each menu offers a beef, chicken, seafood and a vegetarian entree selection complete with a starter course amuse and dessert course. Guests are encouraged to visit the local wineries and then bring back the wine purchased during the tasting to the Inn. Our wine experts will pair your wine with our fabulous dinner offerings for a corkage fee of $5.00 per bottle or you can enjoy our selection of Virginia wines for just $15.00 for the flight.
Sales of Virginia wine reached an all-time high in fiscal year 2011 with more than 462,000 cases sold during the fiscal year. This figure marked a sales increase of more than 11% over the previous fiscal year. Virginia is now the nation’s fifth largest wine producer and seventh largest wine grape producer. According to the most recent economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs approximately 3,000 people and contributes almost $350 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis.
August 2012 – Circa ’31 (The Mimslyn Inn’s fine dining restaurant) receives 2012 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
We are excited to announce that for the fourth year in a row Circa ’31, The Mimslyn Inn’s fine dining restaurant, has received Wine Spectator’s prestigious Award of Excellence for offering one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world! The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recognizes a wine list that offers a good selection of quality wines that thematically match a restaurant’s cuisine. Circa ’31 is being honored for its reputable selection of over 100 wines.
“When Wine Spectator debuted the Grand Awards 31 years ago, the idea of honoring restaurant wine lists raised some eyebrows,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “Today, enjoying wine with meals has become an integral part of the American dining experience, and we are truly in a golden age of restaurant wine lists. On behalf of Wine Spectator, we congratulate all those restaurateurs who have committed their time, energy and resources to building fine wine programs.”
“Fueled by a youthful demographic that is adventurously exploring the food-and-wine world along with a renewed sense of creativity on the part of restaurateurs, a new energy has been brought to wine programs around the world, and wine lovers are responding with enthusiasm,” said Thomas Matthews, Executive Editor, Wine Spectator. “The nearly 3,800 restaurants honored in our Dining Guide lead the way, offering thought-provoking experiences to a new generation that wants to expand its wine horizons while maximizing its wine dollars.”
The complete list of award winners is featured in the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator, available on newsstands July 24. Read more about Circa ’31 and Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Wine List Awards.
About Wine Spectator
Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches more than 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms, and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 15,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Food Arts, Market Watch, Whisky Advocate and Impact.