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Blue Goose grows into hotel

The goose has landed and is now expanding.

What was once a single building bed and breakfast in Coupeville is now encompassing three historic buildings on North Main Street near the county buildings.

The Blue Goose Inn has expanded to include the two buildings that were once the Inn at Penn Cove.

Instead of a two-room bed and breakfast, the Blue Goose Inn now offers 10 rooms between the three Victorian-style homes.

“They’re beautiful old houses,” owner Sue Cunningham, who is also running for a seat on the town council, said. She operates the inn along with her mother, Barb.

She bought the original Blue Goose in December 2005 and she has been operating it as a bed and breakfast ever since.

With the extra space, she is hoping to be able to hold events on the two properties besides providing rooms to town visitors.

The space between her two new properties will be used to hold outdoor events and small weddings. But before that can happing the landscaping between those buildings needs to change, Cunningham said. Barb, whose artwork lines the walls, is also a gardener and she will beautify the space between the two buildings.

The larger space will allow her to hold events in the slower winter months to help make sure her inn stays full. She is planning to hold cooking classes that will be taught by a visiting chef.

She is taking over former Inn at Penn Cove from Mitchell Howard, who had owned the bed and breakfast for the past two years. He is taking over as owner of the Blue Goose’s original building but Cunningham will manage it.

“We’re becoming lodging investors rather than lodging workers and investors,” Howard said.

The Cove restaurant will continue to operate out of its current location at the corner of North Main Street and Sixth Street.

Cunningham had to obtain a conditional use permit from the town of Coupeville because she isn’t residing in her original building. Because of that it has to be changed from a two-room bed and breakfast to a four-room hotel.

“The only thing that is changing is that I’m no longer living on the property,” Cunningham said during the Tuesday evening Town Council meeting. She and Barb moved down to her new buildings a block away.

Councilman Bob Clay excused himself from the deliberations because he lives across the street from The Cove restaurant and submitted a written comment concerning the hotel proposal. He returned to the meeting after the council made its decision.

Cunningham, along with Gary Piazzon, are vying for Clay’s seat on the town council. Voters will decide in the August primary which two candidates will move on to the November election.

Councilmember Molly Hughes was concerned about the traffic impacts with a hotel and a restaurant operating out of one building.

Town Planner Larry Kwarsick said the restaurant still has to follow a variance placed on the property in 2000, and the four-room hotel has less of a parking impact than the bed and breakfast.

He added that the Blue Goose has to make a good faith attempt to secure some additional off-site parking with the nearby Methodist Church.

The expanded Blue Goose Inn recently opened and was soon full of visitors. For more information about the Blue Goose, call 678-4284 or at bluegoosecoupeville.com.

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