Reversing the fortunes of Glen Tavern Inn a GMSP! topic

April 29, 2005
Santa Paula News

Reversing the fortunes - and reputation - of the Glen Tavern Inn, the historic hotel adjacent to the Railroad Plaza, has been the challenge for the new owners.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesReversing the fortunes - and reputation - of the Glen Tavern Inn, the historic hotel adjacent to the Railroad Plaza, has been the challenge for the new owners. But what a difference 14 months can make, Tom Jennett said at the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored April Good Morning Santa Paula! meeting.“When we bought the Glen Tavern a year ago February, it had a pretty bad reputation,” Jennett said. “Flash’s not a boardinghouse, not a flophouse, but a hotel again.” Because the Inn is a work in progress major marketing has been delayed, but the Inn will be the scene of a June 25 reopening celebration of the hotel - completed in 1911 - coupled with a gala fundraiser for the Santa Paula Adult Daycare center.A new restaurant, The Citrus, operated by the owners of the acclaimed Sidecar in Ventura, should be opened by the June 25 fundraiser, said Jennett, who owns the Glen Tavern with his wife Roseanne. “The food at the Sidecar is a real experience” that will be enjoyed closer to home when The Citrus opens.But it took over a year to get to this point, Jennett added. “It’s been an interesting ride for us, and in a way parallels what has been going on in Santa Paula. We see good things, progress. We’ve been doing major renovations at the Inn, where before all kinds of people were just living there, paying rent or not paying rent.”The previous owners of the Inn had allowed the historic hotel to become a trouble spot for Santa Paula Police, who made regular sweeps of the tenants.
All are “welcome to visit and take tours...the lobby is finished and is available for meetings. I’d like more people to stop in; historically people have been afraid, but our new motto is ‘It’s okay to go back to the Glen Tavern Inn.’”And, “A day doesn’t go by when someone doesn’t come in” and reminisce about days past and enjoying the comforts of the Inn. “There’s an incredible demand for the restaurant to reopen; many have come in and asked where it is. I know there’s a very keen interest in having an Inn restaurant back in the community.” The Citrus’ menu will feature “Everything fresh, everything seasonal.”Jennett noted that the city has “been wonderful, helpful, in granting a loan for restaurant equipment. “The Inn has been a very good experience; we’ve received a lot of community and city support.”The Jennetts discovered the Inn while driving through town: “We were not going to invest in Santa Paula, and ended up here on a lark. We said this is a fabulous place, you can see the mountains, the airport...the weather here is the best anywhere. There are so many ideal things about this community, so many things that are insufficiently exploited. And it’s been very exciting to observe first-hand” the investors who, like the Jennetts, have bought buildings and are renovating them.The Glen Tavern Inn has 41 rooms, all now renovated, and “Believe it or not, often all are full.” The Inn will be hosting a film company in coming weeks, the result of Roseanne Jennett “being able to spot film scouts...she tells them to check out the Glen Tavern Inn, and next month a film company has booked the whole place for a week.”Creating a spa in a former residence at the back of the Inn is a “more ambitious part of our project...we want a certain amount of amenities, and a spa would really complete the Inn. Come look and see for yourself!” Jennett urged.

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