Santa Paula Times

Historic Glen Tavern Inn to reopen as soon as possible

April 26, 2006
Santa Paula News

Glen Tavern Inn, which received up to $800,000 in damage in an April 19 fire, will be rebuilt and reopened as soon as possible, according to the owner of the historic hotel.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesGlen Tavern Inn, which received up to $800,000 in damage in an April 19 fire, will be rebuilt and reopened as soon as possible, according to the owner of the historic hotel. Rosanna Jennett also noted the wide support the family received from the community, and lauded the actions of the firefighters who saved the landmark.“Santa Paula has been so great, everyone has been so supportive,” said Rosanna, who with her husband Tom purchased the Inn two years ago. “I can feel it, and that’s what we need right now.”The stream of supportive phone calls and emails began the same day as the fire, which started outside the rear southern portion of the three-story building and climbed into the eaves, setting the attic ablaze. The attic and third floor received heavy fire damage, with the second and first floors sustaining smoke and water damage.The fire - ruled to be accidental - did up to $800,000 damage to the landmark Inn and its contents. But it could have been worse, said Rosanna.“We want to thank all the firefighters and everyone involved in saving the building... the firefighters were on that pitched roof” fighting the blaze as it consumed part of the attic and worked its way down to the third floor. “We’re so humbled that they put their lives on the line,” battling the blaze. “We’re also grateful to the city” personnel that also responded to the scene, including the Santa Paula Police Department, Building & Safety, Public Works, and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. “We’re touched that everyone was so helpful.”
With the late February opening of the upscale restaurant Avenue X - which had a full lunch crowd when the fire broke out - the Jennetts were on the verge of launching an aggressive marketing campaign for the Inn, which in past years hosted celebrities as well as several ghosts.Out of state when they were notified of the fire, “It was an awful experience, we were devastated beyond belief, but we have to think forward and look to the future and get it open again,” said Rosanna. “We let ourselves grieve for three days,” and now are moving toward repairing the Inn, which first opened in 1911.The outpouring of concern and support from the community has touched the Jennetts and firmed their resolve to reopen. “We were touched emotionally, oh my god such a huge loss and it was hard on our family. But when we saw that everybody felt as bad as we did, that they had a history, some connection, some memory of the Glen Tavern Inn, it made our pain a little less. It’s our loss together and we - everybody - can’t wait to get it up and running again.”Overall, Rosanna said that although she cannot find “wisdom in this, I can find hope. It’s a miracle that we still have a Glen Tavern and the fire is just another chapter in the history of the Inn. With so many bad things that happen in the world,” including Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami, “this is all fixable... and we will fix it.”The Inn, which stands on North Mill Street just south of Railroad Plaza, “belongs to the community, it’s so magnificent.... It’s our loss together, but we all want to see it up and running,” said Rosanna.