In the late 1770’s, alongside a dusty road in Concord Township, there stood a tavern called the Concordville Inn. Inside the faint glow of candles and the warmth of an open hearth were welcome sights to travelers as they made their long journey between Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Legend has it that this Inn provided refuge to some of the more famous travelers of the day – from Revolutionary War heroes to statesmen as prominent as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.
Ownership of the Inn changed hands from time to time, passing from families named Way and Hannum to Taylor, Speakman, and Cloud. In 1869 owner James Cloud first called the Inn the Concordville Hotel, as did Frank H. Cloud in1872. And the 1885, new owners James Neeld and Jackson McFarlan faced opposition from the community that briefly threatened the Inn’s very existence.
According to historical account, in April 1883 “two lengthy petitions were presented to the court in protest of any hotel license in the said township, and especially against granting license for the sale of intoxicating liquors to James Neeld, of Concordville, or Jackson McFarlan of Elam, believing that such license and sale is fraught with results disastrous to the comfort, prosperity, and morality of the community.
And though the license was temporarily refused, “at the January Court, 1884, the license was restored to the Concordville Hotel.”
Today, Ye Old Concordville Inn remains one of the most popular and historic dining sites in Delaware County. Yet there have been a few changes at the Inn since the country’s founding fathers reportedly stopped here for lodging.
The highway outside the front door is no longer a dusty lane for horses and buggies, but a multi-lane highway known as Route One. Travel time between Baltimore and Philadelphia is no longer several days but several hours. And the Concordville Inn is no longer the quaint, roadside inn of yesteryear that offered simple meals, hearty ale, and a place to sleep.
Under the proprietorship of the Hionis family, Ye Old Concordville Inn has become the landmark cornerstone of a dining and lodging establishment that now includes the Best Western Concordville Hotel and Conference Center. Indeed, the Concordville Inn and its adjoining English country hotel is one of the community’s favorite settings for banquets, weddings, casual dining, receptions, business meetings and conferences.
The Hionis family counts itself as the 25th owner of this historical property; two brothers named Jerry and Alexander Hionis purchased the Concordville Inn in September 1973. Over time, the Hionis brothers made important changes to the Inn, including the additions of a larger dining room to accommodate 400 guests for private events.
But the family also kept much of the Inn’s historical flavor. The various dining rooms feature period antique furniture and artifacts. The menu, while greatly expanded and improved over the last two centuries, features homemade crab cakes, prime rib and lobster.
In 1986, the Hionis family decided it was time to expand their Delaware County operation. On some 20 acres of rolling country-side that adjoins the Concordville Inn, the family developed the Concordville Hotel and Conference Center.
The Hotel, which opened in the Summer of 1987, boasts 115 spacious sleeping rooms including suites and 6 meeting and banquet rooms that accommodate up to 150 people. Guests can enjoy the state of the art fitness center, game room with pool table and an indoor heated pool. The beautifully landscaped grounds showcase fountains and gazebos offering the perfect, relaxing setting.
In addition to the Brothers, now more of the family participates in the management of the Inn and the Hotel. These second generation Hionis family members are as dedicated as their Fathers in maintaining the traditions of the Concordville Inn and Hotel, traditions that first began in a roadside tavern in the late 1700’s.