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Inn at Ligonier and Tap Room opens

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Rebecca Ridinger | for the Ligonier Echo
Rebecca Ridinger | for the Ligonier Echo

With the Laurel Highland's potential for ever-evolving hospitality and dining opportunities, there is always room for something new. Enter the new Inn at Ligonier and Tap Room and more has been added to the local equation.

The inn, which is located off Route 711 South, sits on nearly four acres and offers 22 rooms for rent. Inn owner and developer Ed Parsons, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, saw the empty building, which was once a personal care home, and simultaneously saw a plan.

“I look at old buildings and see what I can do with them,” Parsons said. “I thought, ‘we could really do something with this, something better than just bulldozing.'”

Parsons approached his siblings to see if they'd be interested in joining the operation.

“He asked if we wanted to join and we said, ‘yeah, why not?'”, his sister Kathy O'Donnell of Wilkes-Barre said. “It's a good investment; this town is very nice, everyone is very nice.”

The family members soon got to work converting the space.

This was not an amateur remodeling endeavor; Parsons was also responsible for constructing Ligonier Gardens and has revamped hotels around the area.

“We were looking for something we could invest in,” Parsons said. “We liked Ligonier from the last project we did.”

Aside from the guest rooms, the group is renovating the home located behind the inn, which will also be available for rentals. Future plans to play host to weddings, showers, banquets and larger scale events are also in the works. There are separate dining spaces, allowing guests different ambiance options.

“We want a place where someone can have a nice dinner and also watch the baseball game,” Parsons explained.

The Tap Room and restaurant offers micro-brewed beers as well as domestics, a full bar menu and quality, yet casual fare. Inn amenities include a fountain-side seating area, live entertainment on the weekends and large rooms for private functions. Parsons also plans to have a spa on the premises.

The Inn has been open since early July, but Parsons wanted to wait a bit before fully advertising its opening.

“We wanted to get our feet wet for a month,” he said. “We want to get it right what we're doing now.”

The response has been quite positive. Rooms have already been booked and the weekend musical entertainment has already drawn crowds.

Patron Jodi Barnhart and husband Jeff of Greensburg welcome the new venue.

“We've been impatiently waiting for it to open,” she said. “The patio is beautiful; it's very relaxing and picturesque.”

Parsons, too, is satisfied with how it is running so far.

“It's worked really well,” he said.

The inn is located at 2053 Route 711 South and is open seven days a week. Hours for the restaurant are 3 to 10 p.m. weekdays and noon to 10 p.m. weekends. The Tap Room opens at 3 p.m. Call 725-593-1240, for more information. Rooms are still available for Fort Ligonier Days.

Rebecca Ridinger is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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