Monday, February 26, 2024

IMPRESSIONS: The Blairstown Inn – Successful Local Woman-Run Restaurant for 60+ Years

A very enjoyable Dad’s night out for Father’s Day was had at the Blairstown Inn, Sunday, June 18th. Patrons of all ages streamed into the restaurant with dads in tow.

The vibe was calm and unpretentious, yet the food quality and excellent service belied a tried-and-true local establishment that has lasted for decades.

Catering to loyal clientele has been a hallmark at the restaurant, as evidenced by their extensive menu that was said to be because they don’t want to disappoint loyal patrons who may like a particular dish or drink.

The regular menu features a myriad of choices to almost rival popular diners, plus nearly 30 classic coctails, a large variety of draught and bottled beer (including 25 beers on tap), wines, coffee cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages.

However, it was the Specials Menu for this Father’s Day that brought out a few chuckles and was tempting. On it were appetizers for the occasion like “Daddy long legs Calamari” and “Dads secret savory sweet lime sauced wings” and entrees included the “The Cod Father Fish Fry” and “Dads our hero burger.”

Owner, Kellie Peterson and her daughter, Haileigh are at the helm and thus represent a continuous woman-run restaurant since at least 1957. Having emigrated to the United States from Zurich, Austria, Kellie was able to work for her Aunt who owned the Blairstown Inn. In 1980, she was able to buy the place and effect a total renovation.

With nothing to hide, there’s at least one window cut into the kitchen for patrons and management to keep an eye on the workings of a well-seasoned kitchen. Head chef Matt Keller has been in charge for about 35 years and is also known locally for organizing the various “Friday the 13th!” affairs in town.

A graduate from Centenary College in 2013, with a communications degree, Haileigh Peterson is proud of what the women in her family have accomplished. She includes how in the past they were able to rebuild nearby after a devastating fire destroyed the former restaurant that stood on Main Street. She also said she likes that they kept it local with the current location of the Balirstown Inn, at 70 Route 94.

Fairly recently, the owner was able to have the entire foundation of the restaurant painted by local professional artists, Marybeth and Richard, in trompe l’oeil stonework, making it very appealing.

Desiree Dunn
Desi L. Dunn, Managing Editor
Managing Editor at Desiree L. Dunn, LLC

Born & educated in NY with an Environmental Science degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Desi's family resides in Hardwick with a young teen and several spoiled pets. Considering northwest Jersey to be a true gem, her commitment to the people and environs is exemplified by the many different jobs she's had - municipal & county official, election clerk, open space plan writer, newspaper & radio journalist, grant writer, events coordinator and farm market manager as well as retail, waitressing, archaeological digger and once for a short while in a very huge warehouse.

Her favorite was as a reporter for many years with the Recorder newspapers, Blairstown Press, Paulinskill Chronicle, Gannett publications plus WNTI Public Radio producing public affairs and human interest stories on-air.

She often has her camera ready to capture interesting people and events. She's thrilled to now serve as RVE's Managing Editor, helping fellow writers hone their skills and show you the issues as well as treasures that exist in North Warren, through their eyes.