In 2015, the Mirror published an article detailing how Louise and Stuart Oliver would be leasing the Eastville Inn to create the Kitchen Sync catering and event company. Since then, the business, as well as the adaptive re-use of the historic Inn has been an unqualified success. Despite what appears to be a clear win for Northampton County (the county owns Eastville Inn), regressive thinking is once again winning the day. The Olivers have not lost hope, and continue to lobby the county to let them continue their work. Below is a transcript of Stuart Oliver addressing the county Board of Supervisors:
Good evening, I would like to make a brief presentation regarding the request for lease proposals for the Eastville Inn, which will soon be due.
As you know, my wife Louise has operated Kitchen Sync Catering out of the premises for approximately the last six years. When she took it over it had been vacant for some time after a series of failed restaurant ventures. During these 6 years, she has built a successful business and has utilized the premises as an event venue and a base for her catering operation. We feel that this is the appropriate use for this property.
It is my understanding that the county would prefer to sell the premises outright or lease them on a long-term basis to a new restaurant venture.
It is my opinion that you will not receive an acceptable bid for purchase, as the cost of renovation and acquisition will exceed the cash flow needed to justify an acquisition by an independent, non-subsidized entity. As for the new restaurant venture; many have tried, and all have failed in recent memory.
Throughout the COVID pandemic, the county has received its rent check from us, on time, in full. You have a good, reliable tenant in place, and it makes sound business sense to work with the existing tenant than gamble on a new venture. Higher proposed rental contracts are no good if the business fails and the tenant vacates mid-lease, as the previous one did.
It is our desire to remain on the premises and we will make a written offer in the near future with a proposed increase in rent. In addition, limited lunch service will be available within one month of the execution of a new lease. Lunch service would already be in effect had we not been served with notification of termination of our lease.
I understand that the Town of Eastville has placed pressure on the county for the termination of our lease due to low food and beverage tax returns. It is our contention that the potential for revenue of this sort is vastly overrated. Until the Town gets its own financial house in order, their input should be minimal. Six-figure salaries to traffic cops would be a good place for them to start cutting expenses. This building belongs to the whole county, not just the Eastville Self Enrichment Club.
Again, it is our contention that Kitchen Sync catering is an excellent tenant for this property and is a known and proven quantity.
We look forward to working with you. Thank you.