This Boutique, Family-Owned Property Is Pivoting During COVID-19’s Hospitality Crisis


You would possibly say that GrayBarns, the picturesque former textile mill turned speakeasy turned boutique property in Norwalk, Connecticut, is ideally located for social distancing. With an inn that encompasses solely six rooms, the bucolic property is rife with nature and noticeably sparse on people. Even nonetheless, the Glazer household—Andy, Marsha, and their daughter, Nikki—who’ve owned the property since 2017 and redesigned it, on their very own, has been pressured to reckon with the myriad impacts of the well being disaster upon the tourism business. Their pivots—from advertising their rooms as pieds-à-terre for weary New York City residents in search of reprieve, to distancing-friendly exercise choices—are holding the household’s enterprise in, nicely, enterprise, within the period of COVID-19

Amongst GrayBarns’ lodging are a six-room inn, a four-bedroom rental residence transformed from a textile mill, and long-stay residences.

Morgan Ione for GrayBarns 

Design that does double-duty

A brand new problem throughout the hospitality business is learn how to abide by new well being restrictions with out fully sacrificing ambiance. For GrayBarns—which spans the Village Houses, particular person properties; the Mill Home, a four-bedroom, rentable residence; six rooms on the Inn; the Tavern restaurant, and the Mercantile store—the necessities various all through every space of the property. “On the Inn, we have been mechanically categorized as a low-population-dense possibility for these trying to get away. Nevertheless, our high precedence is to make friends really feel protected. So as to adapt, we added protocols akin to breakfast delivered to your door within the morning versus our earlier foyer buffet providing, all group areas cleaned each two hours, and upon request, in addition to making nightly turndown and housekeeping optionally available,” says Nikki. “On the Tavern, we’ve had a complete reevaluation of working procedures and requirements in addition to a redesign of the house to incorporate ample out of doors eating and restricted capability for eating indoors. We additionally got here up with inventive concepts such because the household meals and picnic bins that enable those that are usually not comfy eating out a chance to nonetheless expertise our menu.” 

“In an effort to take care of an elevated eating expertise, we crafted a glass sales space idea for the Bar Room that enables for a similar stunning open environment with views of Guthrie Pond, however creates distinct eating areas which can be social-distance pleasant,” Andy says. “We like to seek for vintage rustic hooks—many may be discovered all through the property elsewhere—so we added them onto every sales space to make it really feel pure to the design of the house. The cubicles create an intimate really feel for our friends however enable us to maintain our present flooring plan with out having to take away tables for social distancing. All through the property, we’ve used glass to modernize the historic really feel of reclaimed barn wooden and beams, so it felt like a harmonious addition that complimented the present design, but is distinctly utilitarian and designed for a brand new regular.”  



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