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Westport Hotel and Tavern set to open doors

Owners Jim and Jayne Vance of the Westport Hotel and Tavern.

Owners Jim and Jayne Vance of the Westport Hotel and Tavern. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

Another Westport landmark is set to re-open.

Jayne and Jim Vance, owners of the Westport Hotel and Tavern (formerly known as the Westport Hotel), are planning to open the doors on the newly remodeled bar, restaurant and hotel April 4.

“We are shooting for that date, and it is very realistic that we will be open for Easter Brunch,” Jayne said.

“We want to be ready for Easter,” Jim added. “We have been working hard on the place and have completely gutted the first floor and given it a total redo.”

Mr. Vance said that the new bar was a key piece to the renovations.

“There was a bar, but it never really was a working bar,” he said. “We wanted to create something everyone in the community can enjoy.”

When operating, the Vances hope to employ about 20 people who will work at the hotel along with two other properties that the family owns.

“We also operate the Victorian Lady and the Lakeside Motel,” Mr. Vance said. “We will have five or six housekeepers, the same number of servers, two kitchen staff and bar staff.”

The couple moved to Westport from Harrisburg, Pa., and are living at the hotel.

“We are fully committed to the hotel and to the community,” Mrs. Vance said. “We wanted to be here and be part of the business and Westport.”

Jim Muller, who was raised in South Africa, has been hired as the head chef for the restaurant.

“He brings a lot of international thought to the food,” Mrs. Vance said. “People will be able to order form either the bar menu or the restaurant menu no matter which area they are seated in.”

Mr. Vance said that there will be televisions for viewing events, sporting or otherwise.

“A lot of people have commented that we are opening a sports bar, but it really is not that,” he said. “We are going to have the televisions for events, but we want to make this a place that holds a lot of events for the community.”

Jayne said that they hope to be open Wednesdays through Sundays once things start rolling.

“We are going to fell things out as we go along,” she said. “But we are going to be open 12 months and eventually we would like to be serving all three meals as well as Sunday brunch.”

The Westport Hotel and Tavern is located on Main Street in Westport, across from the Essex County Fairgrounds and across the railroad tracks from the Depot Theatre.

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