By Samantha Mehlinger - Staff Writer
June 17, 2013 - On June 22, the Beachrunners’ Inn in Bluff Heights celebrates its centennial with guest speakers, a raffle, home tour and refreshments from noon to 2 p.m. Mother-daughter co-owners Patricia Reed and Courtney Day Claverie gather in the historic inn’s kitchen to discuss the occasion, which also marks 10 years in business for the pair.
The bed and breakfast features five guest bedrooms, a living room, patio, kitchen, dining room and sitting room. All rooms have a private bath. After discussing these amenities, Claverie waits for her mother to finish taking a reservation, noting that the gold and red hued sitting room across from the kitchen is a draw for guests. A wall panel hides the sixth bedroom, which belongs to Reed, who provides live-in service.
Councilmember Suja Lowenthal is one of the event speakers. She agreed to come, Reed thinks, because of “the contributions that we make to this area, to the business community as well as the residential neighborhood.” She adds, “We’re just delighted that she’s agreed to be here.” Reed notes that John Thomas, president of the Bluff Heights Neighborhood Association, is also speaking.
Historian Maureen Neely will present her research on the building’s past at the event. From what she and her mother already know, Claverie says the building “has always been operated in the community in some way that allowed travellers and folks to come in and have a place to stay,” from a bed and breakfast to a boarding home.
“We felt it was important to recognize the age of the house, its endurance and the history in this neighborhood,” Reed says. She adds that over the years, many neighbors and passersby have remarked about wanting to see the inn’s interior. The event provides this opportunity and allows her and her mother “to thank the community for having been so kind to us.”
Claverie affirms that the inn is doing well. “Business is good. Business is growing,” she states. Four out of five rooms are occupied, and she confirms the fifth will be filled later that night. Summer is the busy season, and they are asking for up to four weeks notice for reservations. They have already taken reservations for the summer of 2014.
Business was not always so steady. Claverie recalls, “Just like everyone else, we had a period of time that was not so great. The economy was struggling. So were we. Truly what made a difference for us were our neighbors, because as their friends and family needed a place to stay, they called on us.” Reed echoes this remark. “I think even in the lean years we have served as that extra bedroom for the community,” she says.
Guests receive breakfast in the mornings, usually cooked by Reed, who says she does her best to accommodate individual needs. Claverie points out their fresh food products are obtained from “local sources or certainly from other small businesses.” Reed and Claverie emphasize that while they are the “day-to-day face of the business,” other family members often pitch in.
In addition to bringing tourists to the Bluff Heights community, Reed says she and Claverie serve the community through various organizations. “We are an integral part of the small business community here. I participate in Friends of Bixby Park,” Reed says. “Courtney is a member of the On Broadway Business Association. We’ve involved ourselves in this community.”
The owners ask anyone interested in attending their centennial event to RSVP online at www.beachrunnersinn.com, primarily so they know how much food to serve. The event is free.