History of The Village Inn Restaurant Belgrade Lakes Maine 91 Years of Hospitality
The Village Inn in Belgrade Lakes traces its roots back to 1921. It was first
known as the Locusts House, named for the large locust trees growing on the back lawn. The Inn was one of several hotels in the popular lakeside community that offered fine food and accommodations to visiting summer guests.
In the 1920’s, visitors often traveled by train to the Belgrade Depot and then journeyed seven miles by touring car to the village. There, many would spend a month or two enjoying the summer social scene, playing golf and tennis, fishing and generally delighting in the rustic charm of the area.
Belgrade Lakes was a popular vacation spot for the wealthy and famous and where writers and artists, who were inspired by the beauty of the area, created some of their finest works. Both E. B. White and Eugene O’Neil spent summers here penning some of their most memorable works. More recently, Ernest Thompson wrote his award winning play “On Golden Pond”, at his cottage on Great Pond.
After World War II, the automobile gained popularity and an increasingly mobile population began traveling more but taking shorter vacations. Housekeeping cottages flourished in Belgrade Lakes as visitors stayed for a week or two and prepared many of their own meals. The era of wealthy New Yorkers and their servants arriving by carriage with an assortment of steamer trunks prepared to stay for the season was coming to an end.
In 1956, the historic Belgrade Hotel, built in 1899, was destroyed by fire. In 1962 the famed Lakeshore Hotel closed its doors. The Locusts House, owned by Edward Megill since it’s founding in 1921, was the one remaining hotel with links to Belgrade Lakes splendid past.
In 1967, Mr. Megill sold The Locusts House to Paul and Priscilla Provandie who renovated the buildings and reopened as The Village Inn. They were responsible for perfecting the recipe for Slow Roasted Duckling making the Village Inn the largest seller of Roast Duckling in the United States. It remains so today, using the same recipe.
Charlie and Susan Grover, current owners and “caretakers” of this wonderful piece of Belgrade Lakes history believe that the success of any fine dining and lodging establishments needs to extend beyond superior food preparation and comfortable beds. It is our belief that our customers deserve to have a fine dining and lodging experience. We are totally committed to insuring that every aspect of your visit is a glorious memory. Our old fashioned dining room with Yankee charm overlooking Mill Steam framed with a mural of Belgrade Lakes Village; our intimate upstairs “sitting room’ with a cozy fireplace and adjacent private dining rooms overlooking Long Pond; our back lawn with its gracious weeping willows and lodging that harkens back to another era, are all here to become your home away from home.
The Village Inn is committed to preserving the quality of life in Belgrade Lakes and to that end use only eco-friendly products and buy provisions as locally as possible.
You will find Charlie in the dining room each evening eager to welcome you and Susan will be in kitchen ensuring your meal is prepared just as you ordered. After all, you are here in Belgrade Lakes, “Where Memories Last a Lifetime”.