The 1897 Victorian Red Rocker Inn gets a facelift
The Victorian Red Rocker Inn in Black Mountain has undergone extensive renovations inside and out. Even the original oak and pine floors were preserved.
The Red Rocker Inn in Black Mountain has undergone extensive renovations inside and out.
“We took all 17 bedrooms back to their original hardwood floors,” owner Doug Bowman said.
The inn today is a far cry from what it was decades ago. Pat Tyson Glass worked there in the mid 1950s when she was 16 years old.
“I waited tables, and so did my mother, Mary Elizabeth Dougherty,” Glass said. “My grandmother Sadie Dougherty was the cook, and my grandfather Alfred sold the Red Rocker beef. I remember the rooms like it was yesterday. When I was working there, it was more like a boarding house and catered to teachers and Florida and Georgia tourists from escaping the heat.
“Every bedroom had a lavatory, and the bathroom was down the hall. The bedrooms were all alike and very basic. Today the inn is elegant and beautiful.”
Doug and Jenny Bowman had the carpeting removed to let the beautiful hardwood floors live again.
“We started the renovation in January 2014 and finished in June,” Doug said. “By closing off one room at a time as it was being worked on, we managed to never close the inn.”
“Some rooms required minimum work, and others had to be totally redone,” Jenny Bowman said. “In some we had to go so far as to put down new wood. But old oak and pine floors were given new life. All of the bedrooms have been repainted.”
Bathrooms were also renovated, with one being completely redone. The dining areas and hallways have new carpeting. There are new ceilings also. The outside of the inn has been repainted in a different color and topped with a new roof. All told, more than $100,000 went into the renovation.
“It was a challenging job, but enjoyable,” Jenny said. “I even enjoyed shopping for area rugs to accent the refurbished bedrooms.”
The Bowmans enjoy the people and hospitality part of owning and running the Red Rocker Inn. It remains a family business (the chef, their daughter Kaylea, is getting married in September). All five children have worked on and off during the eight years the Bowmans have owned the inn.
The next project is redesigning the flower gardens. That falls under Jenny’s direction. Her husband wants people to remember that there’s also a restaurant at the inn. “People sometimes forget that we have two businesses here,” he said. “We have the bed and breakfast, and then we have the restaurant. You don’t have to be celebrating a special event to eat with us.”
The inn is at 136 N. Dougherty St. The restaurant is open at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast. Dinner is served from 5-7:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 5-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.
Stay, dine (or both)
Red Rocker Inn, 136 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain, is a bed and breakfast and restaurant. Contact it at 669-5991.