By Diva Melody Hodgson
BAYFIELD – Bayfield, in all of its summertime quaintness, brings about the dreamer in me. I fell in
love with the little town upon first sight back in 2006. It is my go-to for a Sunday drive, lunch on a Friday or a night out with the gals. I am not alone in my infatuation with Bayfield. The main street is packed with shoppers, foodies and visitors year-round.
Joanne and Mike Oliver, originally from Toronto, were two such visitors. A short detour to Bayfield while visiting their son in Blyth two years ago resulted in an instant love affair with the lakeside town. Fortunately for us, Mike and Joanne were able to transform their moment of serendipity into a permanent residence and place of business; a casual lunch conversation eventually resulted in the couple becoming the new owners of the Little Inn last October.
Joanne and Mike, paired with much-sought after local interior designer Cynthia Weber and
renowned locavore chef Michael Potters, have painstakingly renovated the Inn in an effort to create a true culinary destination within Bayfield. Throughout the entire renovation process, the team have been respectful of the inn’s deep-rooted historical ties to the community. Original flooring has been refinished and restored, traditional inn features have been reimagined, and local Mennonite craftsmen have been hired to recreate a multitude of items from stair-railing spindles to matching the original baseboard in the taproom. Chef Potters has embraced the richness of local Huron County producers and created two menus of pure deliciousness I can hardly wait to experience. Their unwavering dedication to the vision of the project is obvious. The entire time I was with Joanne, I felt that their goal was not to take the soul out of the Little Inn, but rather to give it a little boost. From all accounts, they have succeeded beautifully.
I must admit, I have never ventured into the Little Inn prior to last week. I always felt it was a little too fancy for my sometimes-brushed-hair and ripped jeans, and as a result I’ve always been more of a low-key pub girl. After meeting with Joanne and touring the property, however, I feel like I may have to make a little room in my heart for the new kids on the block.
The Little Inn of Bayfield
Where: 26 Main Street, Bayfield
When: Soft opening March 27th, grand opening April
Willow Room (Fine Dining), daily
Breakfast: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
The Four In Hand Taproom (Casual Dining), daily
11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Contact: 1-800-565-1832, email@example.com