Former Lenape Inn location shuts restaurant, will wind up retail glass store in Feb.
By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
POCOPSON — Simon Pearce, the restaurant and glass blowing boutique located for more than a decade on the banks of the Brandywine, abruptly closed its restaurant today — and will shut down the retail hand-blown glass store next month.
Customers were alterted of the change by a brief statement taped to the window of the restaurant, which opened in 2000, after the owners remodeled the former Lenape Inn.
The Windsor, VT-based company issued a statement Wednesday announcing the closing of the location.
“After months of difficult deliberation, effective today, Wednesday Jan. 12, the restaurant and glassblowing workshop will be closed,” the statement said. The retail store will remain open to serve customers through Sunday, Feb. 13. It was unclear from the statement how much longer glass blowing will continue — if at all — and how many jobs will be lost through the closure.
The company announced that the retail store will also be selling “seconds” at 30 percent off through Feb. 13. Simon Pearce company President Rob Adams travelled from Vermont to make the announcement to the team at the township location this morning.
The company’s founder, Simon Pearce said in the statement: “The decision to close our facility in West Chester has been an extremely difficult one. We care deeply about the people who have worked so hard to provide a great experience for our customers, but after 10 years we know that t his decision is the right one for our business.”
According to the company statement, the decision was made in large part to allow the company to further focus on its core business – producing and marketing the finest hand-blown glass, handmade pottery and unique home accents and furnishings. “Over the last 10 years we have enjoyed a great relationship with West Chester and the many loyal customers we’ve come to know so well,” Adams said in the statement. “We thank the community for appreciating Simon Pearce the way they have, and look forward to continuing to serve them in many ways down the road.”
While no immediate plans were announced, Simon Pearce officials say that it plans to continue growing existing retail partnerships in the area while cultivating new partnerships with independent retailers.
Meanwhile, the closure of the Pocopson landmark leaves a historic site with an uncertain future.
The site has hosted an eatery dating back to 1892, when Jesse Kelley built a cafe to serve patrons at the Lenape Park — while that venture failed, a new cafe and general store opened a few years later on the same location.
In 1942, the Lenape Inn opened as a more upscale dining experience, and although it changed owners and management a number of times, continued as a classic Chester County restaurant, well-known for its rustic decor and views of the Brandywine.
When taken over by Simon Pearce in 2000, the building was extensively renovated and expanded to permit the glass blowing and additional retail store. Now, the future of the local landmark in up in the air.
Meanwhile, Simon Pearce is telling customers with existing restaurant reservations or events that they will be contacted directly.