Room at the Inn
When signing a lease with his Pound Ridge landlords two years ago, Jean-Georges Vongerichten took a leap of faith that the community would once again embrace the historic inn in the heart of the hamlet. Built in 1836 as a residence, the home was remodeled and converted a century later. Known as Emily Shaw’s Inn, its reputation as a gathering place for locals and bold-faced names from Broadway and Hollywood continues to this day. The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges will open in January.
Due to the age of the structure and its neglect in recent years, the renovation process was comprehensive. Working with his architect, Thomas Juul-Hansen, and his contractor, Hobbs, Inc., Vongerichten looked to put his stamp on the local treasure by grounding its design in history with a 21st-century twist.
This being Vongerichten’s 37th restaurant did not diminish his enthusiasm for each and every detail. As he guided our preview tour (the very first for the media), he pointed out the reclaimed wood ceilings, and he insisted we sit in each type of chair to experience first-hand the results of his team’s careful attention to both style and comfort. “Whoaaaa!” he exclaimed with delight as the tables for the upstairs bar were unwrapped and set in place.
In the kitchen, Chefs Blake and Melody Farrar were directing the new staff as they began the process of practicing every dish on the menu. And down a few stairs, as staff unpacked dishes and linens, Vongerichten explained that the table settings will be a combination of new, bespoke pieces and vintage silverware and accent pieces collected from throughout New York State.
Leading us through hidden passageways, Vongerichten was gleeful as he showed off the state-of-the-art mechanical and security systems. When we emerged, he found another chair for us to try—this time so we could admire the view. It was familiar, yet fresh, and also fabulous.