Washington column for May 30

Gay Street Inn’s new owners

The Gay Street Inn, an 1850s farmhouse that was restored and redecorated into a fine country B&B at the end of Gay Street, has two new owners.

Former owners Kevin Adams and Jay Brown sold their B&B to Gary and Wendy Aichele, who have returned to Virginia from Pennsylvania with plans to continue operating the property as a B&B. In fact, Jay and Kevin checked out their last guests on Sunday afternoon, May 19; the next day, Gary and Wendy closed the sale – and checked in their first guests.

Wendy and Gary Aichele are the new owners of Washington’s Gay Street Inn. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck.
Wendy and Gary Aichele are the new owners of Washington’s Gay Street Inn. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck.

Ten years ago, Kevin and Jay bought land at the end of Piedmont Avenue, outside the town limits, and – realizing it would take some time to build their own house – bought the B&B as a temporary residence. They have now moved into their long-awaited home, and report they are enjoying “sleeping in and cooking for only two” in the mornings.

Kevin has leased the old Packing Shed Gallery at Porter and Gay and has moved his painting studio and gallery there. Jay continues his law practice (he is the managing partner of a national firm that specializes in First Amendment law), working most days from his office in the old Bank Building on Gay Street.

During 2007, the Aicheles spent a “sabbatical year” in Warm Springs, where they served as “respite innkeepers” for good friends who needed a break. As a result, the two began to consider the possibility of becoming full-time innkeepers.

In January, they decided to retire after serving four years as resident houseparents at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa., a private boarding school for disadvantaged and “at-risk” youth – where they were responsible for “parenting” 12 teenage boys in high school.

As a result of years spent in Charlottesville and Northern Virginia, and frequent trips back to Virginia over the years, the Aicheles were familiar with the area, and an opportunity to make Little Washington their new home was “too good to pass up.” They say they look forward to maintaining the hospitality and reputation of the Gay Street Inn.

Their choice of a new home was a big hit with their two daughters, both of whom were born in Virginia. Anne, who works as the assistant director of leadership development at Marymount University in Arlington, expects to be a frequent weekend guest. Her sister Molly, and Molly’s husband Matt, both lawyers in New York City, are looking forward to spending some “down time” with the family.

Welcome to the town of Washington, Gary and Wendy! And best of luck with your new home, Kevin and Jay.

Be sure to stop by and welcome the Aicheles to the area.

Bible school

Trinity Episcopal Church and Washington Baptist Church are hosting their annual joint Vacation Bible School from 9 to noon June 3-7  at the Washington Baptist Church. This year’s theme is “Athens: Paul’s Dangerous Journey to Share the Truth.” For more information, call 540-675-3336.

Wishes

Birthday wishes go out to MaryAnn Frazier of Harris Hollow, who celebrates her special day this Monday (June 3). Eddie (Tiger), make sure you treat her to a nice dinner, flowers and a nice piece of jewelry.

Wedding anniversary wishes goes out to Steven and Judy Alther of Washington. They’re celebrating their special day today (May 30).

Supporting the Rappahannock Rollers

The Rappahannock Rollers still need some sponsors in any amount for the upcoming Bowl for Seniors on June 8. The center has a team of four, including Darcy Canton, Rappahannock Senior Center supervisor. They are trying to win a trophy for raising the most money – which supports senior programs in Rappahannock, Madison, Culpeper, Orange and Fauquier counties. For donations or more information on the Rappahannock Rollers, call 540-987-3638.

Virginia Chutney sold locally

Virginia Chutney Company’s world-traveling products also have a place in town — on the shelves at R.H. Ballard on Main Street. Courtesy photo.
Virginia Chutney Company’s world-traveling products also have a place in town — on the shelves at R.H. Ballard on Main Street. Courtesy photo.

Last week, I mentioned that Clare, Nevill and Oliver Turner’s Virginia Chutney was sold nationally in cheese shops like Cowgirl Creamery and Feast, as well as in such specialty supermarkets as Whole Foods and Fresh Market. While that’s all true, I left out where to get some right here in town: R.H. Ballard Art, Rug & Home sells lots of Virginia Chutney, and has been enthusiastically doing so for several years both in the shop and online (rhballard.com).

Blue Rock Inn performances

“Performances on the Patio” are underway at the Blue Rock Inn (12567 Lee Hwy., Washington), and happen most Friday and Sunday evenings through September. For performance schedules and more information, call 540-987-3388 or visit bluerockinn.com.