POTTERSVILLE If the life of the Wells House was a race, this would be the point where the runners pass the baton.
The historic inn on Pottersvilles main street is changing hands but not necessarily directions. New owners Vin and Marian McCann share a vision that former owners Paul and Shirley Bubar have pursued since they bought the inn a few years ago and started restoring it.
The Bubars, whose roots in the community are tied to their lengthy tenure at Word of Life, used to drive by the Wells House and envision what it looked like in its prime back in the early 1900s.
You could say that the inn called to them, so much so that when the opportunity to purchase the inn came along about six years ago, they jumped at it.
The Bubars put four children through college by purchasing and renovating distressed real estate so it wasnt like the Wells House presented challenges with which the couple was unfamiliar.
Shirley has good taste in decorating ...and in men, joked Paul Bubar.
That is evident to anyone touring the restored inn. The inn has undergone a metamorphosis at the hands of the Bubars, who have taken an inn that was showing its age and transformed it into an inviting inn that is true to its era yet offering modern amenities. Rooms feature Shirleys touch with wallpaper that accent and highlight fluffy beds that call to weary travelers.
But if restoration and decorating are the Bubars strengths, the restaurant business has proved more challenging.
Enter the McCanns, who similarly had driven past the inn through the years and envisioned what it once was. Then six years ago, they noticed the inn begin to change.
Each time we came by it was improving, looking a lot better, Marian McCann said. I was always drawn to it. When I saw it was for sale, we came and looked. I said to Vin, we have to do this.
Vin and Marian McCann life's passion is the restaurant business. Vin still teaches restaurant management at New York University.
The changes they will bring to the inn are in its dining offerings. The McCanns vision of the Wells House will feature two restaurants areas.
One, called One Upon a Moose will be a casual cafe and is named after the stuffed moose head that has been a feature in the inn lobby for decades. The cafe will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner with take-out and an espresso machine.
The casual feel will continue with a sofa in front of the fireplace, small tables and the inns historic bar at which patrons can sample craft beers and other beverages.
The room can be opened up for parties and large groups. The McCanns have already booked several parties and are accepting reservations for more.
The other restaurant will feature fine dining restaurant and is tentatively called "Country." Chef Dan Palmer is accomplished in a variety of culinary styles.
Palmer has been on-site two weeks already and both the Bubars and the McCanns agree that theyve been eating very well since his arrival.
He has a terrific personality," Vin McCann said.
Paul Bubar agrees.
Qualities of work are determined by the character of the worker, Bubar said.
The McCann's are planning to open Columbus Day weekend and the Once upon a Moosecafe will be 10 days after.
The sale hasnt closed yet but is expected shortly. The McCanns are eager.
Im going to create a board game based on commercial lending, joked Vin McCann.