In 1890, elevator engineer Edwin Harrington built a grand Victorian home on the North Road in Bethel, where he would live until his death. As the house changed hands in subsequent years, it saw life as a sanitorium and, later, as a lodge called the Greenhurst Inn.
More than a century later, Harrington’s great-great-grand-nephew, Rick Harrington, was driving through Vermont when he saw the inn was for sale. Last spring, he and business partner Fred Leary purchased it. After a year of renovation, they opened the Harrington House Inn on June 16. “We put in a lot of love and repair,” says Harrington. The two also put lengthy planning into a menu of creative, farm-to-table comfort food: “We’re bringing really good food to the table,” Harrington says.
Harrington is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who has worked in the food business for 27 years, but he relies on NECI-trained Kevin Bailey to helm the kitchen. So far, wait lists have formed each weekend for unpretentious fare such as sweet corn fritters with spicy maple aioli; turkey meatballs with sweet marinara sauce, shaved Parmesan and crostini; lobster-salad sliders; PT Farm burgers; braised short ribs; and herb-roasted Statler chicken breast. The kitchen smokes its own chicken wings and baked beans.
“We tried to keep our price points down,” says Harrington, to entice the diverse population in the rural area around Bethel. The kitchen will change the menu every 12 to 16 weeks to reflect seasonal ingredients, and will cater weddings and private events. The inn’s seven rooms will open later this summer.