A landmark Fairhope bed and breakfast is under new ownership, but patrons shouldn’t expect any drastic changes. Probate records indicate the Fairhope Inn at 63 S. Church St. was sold March 1. The purchase price was $1.5 million.
According to Realtor Camelle McNair, who brokered the deal on behalf of Roberts Brothers Inc., Tyler Kean sold the property to Paige Dawson after 19 years of ownership and about two years of consideration.
McNair and Dawson met as students at the University of Alabama almost 39 years ago and Dawson has made a career as a business owner in the hospitality industry. McNair was a frequent patron of the Inn, who recognized a good opportunity.
“It was not for sale at the time, but about two years ago, Paige had me approach Tyler about selling the Inn,” McNair said. “Things didn’t work out,” she said — the timing wasn’t right — but around Christmas of 2018, negotiations continued. McNair said she worked on the deal 24/7 until it was finalized Feb. 28.
Kean took to Facebook to announce the sale.
“To all our customers over the last 19 years, it is with bittersweet emotions to announce that I have sold The Fairhope Inn. Thank you all for entrusting us for some of your most memorable evenings, birthdays, anniversaries, receptions, holiday meals and date nights … We have always strived to make it a wonderful experience for you,” he wrote, sharing memories of his ownership and hinting at a possible new endeavor in the future.
Dawson is the co-owner of Dawson Development in Gadsden, Alabama and along with her brother, bought into the Hampton Inn franchise. Years ago, after frequently visiting Colorado for ski trips (she pronounces it “Cah-luh-rah-duh”) Dawson said they were approached about buying a boutique hotel.
“So we bought and restored the Hotel Telluride and owned it for a few years, and it was really one of my favorite projects,” she said, speaking of redesigning the hotel’s 59 guest rooms. “We loved it and thought it would be a fun project and for the first time it really gave us the ability to do what we wanted to do.”
With four guest rooms, a restaurant and event space, The Fairhope Inn is a much smaller scale, but perhaps no less important to the community. Originally built in 1899, Dawson said she plans to paint the building, spruce up the landscaping and take on a few interior renovations later in the year, but her primary plan was to hire Jeffrey Mog as general manager and chef Alan Blair to head the dining operation. All previous event bookings will be honored, she said.
“I don’t think I could have taken on this project without Jeffrey with me,” she said. “In addition to Alan, who was there for seven years before …. he’s working on the menu and a lot of things will be very similar but he’s changing the format. We hope everyone will look forward to seeing the changes and come back to visit us.”
The restaurant is open Wednesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sunday for brunch. For more information visit thefairhopeinn.com or call 251-928-6226.
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