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Real estate agent leases inn, but without a restaurant
Longtime Island real estate agent Jeff Lewis has signed a lease to operate the former Quartermaster Inn and hopes to begin booking guests into the four-room Burton establishment as early as next week.
Lewis, owner of Winterbrook Realty in Vashon town, said the venture made sense in light of his experience in real estate management; his firm manages about 45 properties on the Island, he said.
“This opportunity was presented to us. We thought we understood the economics of it well enough to know what we should and shouldn’t do, and we committed,” he said.
For the past three years, the 3,300-square-foot structure on the main intersection in Burton has been run by Troy Kindred and Marie Browne, high-profile Islanders who called their establishment the Quartermaster Inn & Restaurant. Lewis has renamed the business, calling it The Inn on Vashon.
In a significant departure from its incarnations in the past, however, the stately 1991 structure will no longer include a restaurant.
Instead, Lewis said, the dining room is being transformed into a pilates studio and group exercise space, run by Hallie Aldrich, a former Islander who recently returned to Vashon after a career off-Island as a dancer and pilates instructor. She hopes to open her side of the business May 1, she said.
Lewis said the inn will likely serve “high-quality morning treats” to its guests — local jams, breads and coffee, for instance. But history suggests the Burton establishment can’t support a restaurant, he added.
“There have been four restaurants here; all of them ultimately didn’t work,” he said. “My personal view of that is that it’s simply not a facility that works as a restaurant.”
Lewis currently has a small real estate office in town. He plans to move it to the inn, a property he’s leasing from Islander Armen Yousoufian. He also plans to show artwork at the inn, including work by his daughter Angela Lewis Greene.
“We’re going to deliver. And we’re going to deliver quality,” he said of his new venture.