While most Bed & Breakfasts in New England tout their acreage, Owners Lisa & Jonathan Krach boast the proximity of the Vienna Restaurant & Historic Inn to their Historic downtown Southbridge. "People hear about a B&B and think Country Estate. The Vienna is fashioned more like Europe's boutique style Hotels," says Jonathan Krach.
The Kr ach's bought the Vienna in 2003, after Gabriel McCarthy, an expert in historic restorations, bought the house to save it from being demolished and used as a "test burn" yet was at a loss for what to do with it.
"It was built in the early 1800's, first as a much smaller dwelling, but because of its prominent location in town, it was then reconstructed to become an Italianate Revival in 1840's. Krach says, "It was a single-family home until the 1940's, the depression forced the current owner, J.J. Delehanty to divide the
home into an 8 unit apartment house. " Over the next several decades, it slipped into decline, at one time becoming a place where crack cocaine was regularly dealt. Southbridge eyed the house as a test burn candidate but McCarthy snatched it up.
"McCarthy had contacted me as a consultant and showed me the property. I immediately asked him, "How much do you want for it?"
Krach , who had been in the restaurant business for 28 years, was excited to combine his food expertise with running an Inn. He and Lisa wanted the Vienna to echo the nuances of Austria. "Vienna was a real cosmopolitan place where people from Europe and the East could meet and do commerce," he says. "What we try to do here is have that same environment, where you meet and leave the hustle and bustle outside."
The house features 5 large 2-room suites, with view of Southbridge's famed Notre Dame Church and authentic German names such as "The Blumenzimmer and Freud's Zimmer. Other details include writing desks, period photos and luxurious European bedding of 100% cotton.
Krach also brought Old-World style to the restaurant menu. you'll see Wiener schnitzel, Hungarian goulash and Jaeger schnitzel as well. Lisa attended to the extensive wine cellar that includes over 315 labels of wine from around the world. Southbridge itself is undergoing a renaissance, according to Lisa Krach, as new shops and entertainment venues are sprouting up. The Vienna plays host to international and domestic luminaries including actor/comedian Bill Murray, Carol Spinney, who plays Big Bird on Sesame Street, musicians such as Shawn Mullins, songwriter of "Lullaby" and Gregory Maguire, who wrote the Broadway screenplay for"Wicked".
Click below to enlarge our Vienna's Jaeger Schnitzel Recipe