Thursday, September 21, 2023

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

Born & educated in NY with an Environmental Science degree, my husband and I reside in Hardwick with our young daughter and several spoiled pets. This is a true gem in Northwest New Jersey, and my commitment to the people and environs has been shown in the many different fields I've worked - 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, archiological digger and once for a short while in a very huge warehouse.

My favorite was as a reporter where I could take my camera and notebook to capture some of the interesting people and stories around us. I'm thrilled to now serve as RVE's Managing Editor and hope to help fellow writers hone their skills and show you the issues as well as treasures that exist in North Warren, through their eyes.