While living in Jasper for more than 20 years, The Woodbridge Inn has been a great place to go to for dining that is relaxed and oh so tasty. We would always take family and friends there for either lunch or dinner when visiting with us. I remember one time my husband and I went to The Woodbridge Inn for our anniversary dinner. We sat at one of the window tables facing the front. Joe comes in and he announces something to this effect ‘we have a camera crew here this evening from the Public Broadcasting Service doing an article on The Woodbridge Inn for Restaurants in North Georgia. So if you’re here with someone you shouldn’t be, you might want to scoot out the door’…or something like this. The really cool thing was, Joe actually served my husband and my entree’ that evening for the camera crew! Some time later, my sister-n-law, who lives in Chattanooga, called us and said she was watching PBS and saw they were doing an episode on The Woodbridge Inn, which of course she knew and had eaten there many times, and then she saw my husband and me! She was so excited that she had to call us and tell us.
So we have many, many memories of the Woodbridge Inn.
Courtesy of Hans Rueffert
Selling the Inn
The Woodbridge Inn has been such a wonderful part of my life. It has been my home, my education, my occupation, and my foundation. I can’t imagine how my life would’ve turned out without it and I’m grateful for every opportunity it has afforded me. But the time has come to let another family take the reigns. My doctors and my family have been urging me for the past few years to step down, but I was too stubborn and too proud to listen. This most recent surgery however has proven that I can no longer ignore their prudent advice.
We took over the Inn in October of 2009, a time when my health seemed to be holding steady. Amy and I were proud to come aboard and let my parents retire while we shouldered the weight of the daily work to be done. Shortly after that transition in March of 2010, my father passed away. One month after that, my brain infection came back…much worse than the previous bout which nearly killed me. Since then my life has been a series of dips and dives, from surgery to recovery and back to surgery, more times than I care to remember. If fact, I sometimes have to go back and read my own blog to recall what happened when and for what reason. I used to thrive on the rapid-fire energy that came from feeding crowds of diners, but my stamina just isn’t what it used to be. After an hour of working at the restaurant, I’m absolutely drained and exhausted. My physicians all agree that the last thing I need to be doing with my health history is trying to run a restaurant. Doing so only increases the likelihood that my medical issues might return.
During all of my medical challenges, we’ve been fortunate to have a caring and honest staff that we could rely on at the Woodbridge. Without them minding the fort, there would be no way we would have lasted so long. While I was off being sliced open and stitched back together, the team was at the restaurant making sure everyone was well fed and happy. It’s a strong crew, and one that’s willing to stay on when the next owner arrives. So who are these new owners? Well, we don’t know yet. I was hoping you could help us by spreading the word about the Woodbridge and helping us find the right people to guide the historic inn into the future. I know we can’t cherry-pick who the new owners will be, but I’m optimistic that, with your help, we’ll find someone who will take pride in our historic gem and carry on many of the traditions my family started nearly 4 decades ago. We’ve listed the Woodbridge at below appraised value in the hopes that we can sell it before the year’s end. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure the transition goes smoothly.
Now, before I share the link to the real estate listing, I have one more favor to ask. It’s simple really: we need you to keep eating at the Woodbridge! It may take some time to sell the restaurant and we absolutely need your support! Even when the place does sell, the new owners will need your support too! We depend on our regular customers and would truly go under if we lost your loyal support. So please, let’s keep the Woodbridge Inn one of north Georgia’s dining destinations, a tradition that will stay a tradition for generations to come.
The Woodbridge is listed with the Shumacher Group in Atlanta, and you can see the listing on their website. The Shumacher group is a well respected agency that specializes in restaurant listings and has been involved in the sale of nearly every well-known dining establishment in the Atlanta area. What the listing fails to mention is that the property would make an amazing home for someone who would like for their family to live on site. My parents, sister and I lived comfortably above the restaurant for nearly 20 years. Our commute to work was a mere twelve and a half stairs down to one of the state’s most famous restaurants. Our old living space has been turned back into 6 guest rooms, the way James Lenning originally ran his Hotel in the late 1800’s. But should a family opt to live on the property, those rooms could easily be converted back into family living space.
Through the years, the Woodbridge Inn has racked up numerous awards and has been featured in several magazines and travel guides. It’s appeared on Food Network, Georgia Traveller, as well as other state and local television programs. It is also featured in my own cookbook, Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow. The property is truly a rare gem! Medical issues may be forcing our family to bow out, but there’s great opportunity for a new owner to continue to collect awards while starting their own special traditions.
I hope you’ll help our family find new owners for our beloved Woodbridge Inn. Share this information with every person you can think of who might make a suitable owner for such an amazing property. In the meantime, please don’t stop coming out to dine with us. We’re proud of the relationships that we’ve made through the restaurant over the years and hope those
bonds stay strong.