Bavarian Inn celebrates 20 years W.Va. restaurant's owners say they have exceeded their dreams

October 05, 1997|By JOURNAL OF MARTINSBURG

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. VA. — SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - In March 1977, Erwin and Carol Asam sold their home in Washington, D.C., along with their restaurant and packed their belongings in the family's station wagon to open a restaurant in Shepherdstown.

Erwin Asam, a native of Munich, Germany, located in the region of Bavaria, named the restaurant the Bavarian Inn.

Asam, 58, said when he and his wife purchased the inn only the living room of the Greystone Mansion was used as a dining room. Asam was the chef, and his wife, Carol, was the hostess when they first opened. They had five employees.

Twenty years later, the Asams never thought the restaurant and inn, located on 11 acres by the Potomac River, would develop into what it has become today - one of West Virginia's and the nation's top eateries and resorts.

"Even in our wildest dreams, we had no idea it would have grown to this," Carol Asam said. "We thought it was just going to be a restaurant and had no idea it would turn into the hotel."

Asam said that the Bavarian Inn has a staff of more than 80 full-time employees and that input from tourists led to that adding of lodging to the restaurant.

"People would come from Washington or Baltimore and they felt it was nice, but they had no place to stay," Asam said. "The nearest hotels were in Martinsburg or Hagerstown."

In 1984, Asam said he obtained a loan worth $1.2 million from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority to build three LTC chalets in a Bavarian Alpine motif. The chalets featured 27 luxury guest rooms, which were almost an immediate success.

Asam said the latest addition is the Black Forest building with 30 rooms, a conference area and exercise facilities. There are now 72 hotel rooms, including two luxury suites, he said.

Asam said the Bavarian Inn has received a four-diamond rating from AAA and a four-star rating from the Mobile Travel Guide since 1984.

"We attribute the success to the many hard-working employees that we have had over the years," he said.

Pub Date: 10/05/97

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