Owners of Potsdam’s 1844 House plan to offer lodging through new bed-and-breakfast

Brian A. and Jenny D. Walker stand in front of their new bed-and-breakfast, the Guest House at 1844, next to their Potsdam restaurant, the 1844 House. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

Brian A. and Jenny D. Walker stand in front of their new bed-and-breakfast, the Guest House at 1844, next to their Potsdam restaurant, the 1844 House. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

POTSDAM — With an opening set for today, 1844 House’s new bed-and-breakfast promises to turn the restaurant and adjoining property into a destination not only for fine dining, but for weddings and other gatherings, according to owners Brian A. and Jenny D. Walker.

Mrs. Walker said Wednesday that the Guest House at 1844, next to the restaurant, features two standard rooms and two suites, and will target business professionals, traveling salespeople, college families and patrons of the restaurant.

She said standard rooms include a queen-sized bed and shared bathroom, while suites include a queen-sized bed, sitting room and private bathroom. All rooms are equipped with Keurig brewing machines, flat-screen televisions with cable service and dormitory-style refrigerators.

Mrs. Walker said patrons also will be offered a continental breakfast, as well as “add-on amenities” including champagne, fruit and cheese plates, desserts and room service from the restaurant. “We’re hoping to make it more of a complete package,” she said.

Mrs. Walker, who previously worked at bed-and-breakfasts in the Sarasota and Jacksonville areas of Florida, said she will handle the day-to-day operations of the business by herself, but eventually will hire one employee to take care of reservations, housekeeping, food preparation and other duties.

She said she and her husband decided to open the bed-and-breakfast because they are confident their general manager and sous chef can run the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, allowing them the freedom to focus on other things.

“We had the time to take on another business, and with four bedrooms, I think we’ll be not biting off too much,” she said.

Opening the new business is also part of a larger effort to make 1844 House a destination and venue for weddings and conventions, offering a garden-style atmosphere for receptions and ceremonies, and providing lodging for bridal families and other guests, Mr. Walker said.

“The idea of merging these two properties is to give us a garden venue,” he said, explaining that they are adding more raised-bed plantings to the restaurant’s garden, and intend to put a pavilion on the property in the next year or two. “It really is a great spot to sit outside in the evening under the stars and have a nice meal. We just want to evolve into having a great summer business.”

He said they want to make their restaurant more attractive to out-of-towners by allowing them to stay the night for a “bed and dinner” experience.

“We’re seeing more and more guests that are driving from Plattsburgh, Burlington, Watertown and Sackets Harbor to eat here, and I think a lot of them feel restricted,” he said, explaining that “commuter guests” visit less often in winter because they don’t want to travel home in the dark. “We’re excited and hopeful that they’ll be able to come, and this will be more of a B&D than a B&B, where they can come and have a really nice dinner, and then feel like they can just stay and get a nice room and then head back the next day.”

IF YOU GO…

What: The Guest House at 1844

When: Check-in after 3 p.m., checkout by 11 a.m. (open year-round)

Where: 6887 Route 11, Potsdam

Room rates: Standard, $89 per night midweek, $119 weekends; Suite, $135 per night midweek, $165 weekends

More info: Jenny D. Walker, 315-274-0080; http://on.fb.me/1JO836l, orhttp://www.1844house.com/