Everything old is new again at the Ram’s Head Inn on Shelter Island.
In the midst of a $20,000 renovation to the bar, lounge and guest rooms, owners James and Linda Eklund are turning back the clock and restoring their historic inn to its original state.
“We decided to re-do the ceiling because it had never been opened up since the place was built in 1929,” Ms. Eklund said. “When we started to take each layer off, it exposed much more ceiling. You’d be amazed how just five or six more inches makes the ceiling seem so much higher.”
As the ceiling to the lounge was peeled away, the Eklunds discovered beautiful curved moldings which had been covered up for decades.
“I hated the ceiling, it was just ugly,” Ms. Eklund said. “But that curved molding, that was pretty much covered up, has now been exposed.”
Along with the new ceiling, a sound system was installed and lights were added above the bar. Vintage-style, wooden ceiling fans were also added, giving the room a 1930s nightclub vibe, a la the film, “Casablanca.” New wooden tables are also on their way, in time for the inn’s opening on March 25.
Guest rooms are being re-done upstairs. Old wallpaper and carpets have been stripped away to expose the original walls and wooden flooring beneath. The rooms are now painted in colors like sandy beige and sea glass green.
“We wanted to upgrade all of the bedrooms over this area,” Ms. Eklund said. “It’s the first time it’s been exposed since 1929, so it was time to take a look and ward off any evil spirits.”
Every year the Eklunds tackle some aspect of the inn to keep things fresh. Next year they plan to re-do the popular outdoor dining porch, extending it to create more space.
“My husband says when you have an old building it’s like [painting] the Golden Gate Bridge, when you’re done, its time to start again,” Ms. Eklund said. “But this is a great building and it really deserves to be maintained.”
The Inn’s new lounge and bar now has a name: “Harbor Hall.”
“We have an incredible view of Coecles Harbor and Shelter Island Sound,” Ms. Eklund said. “For all those years that we’ve held our Sunday jazz series, people have sat in here with the music or outside, overlooking the water with the music. It has become a destination and we wanted to put a name to that, so now you can say, I’m going to Harbor Hall to listen to music tonight.”
Located at 108 S. Ram Island Drive, The Ram’s Head Inn will open for the 2016 season on March 25. For more information call (631) 749-0811 or visit theramsheadinn.com.