By Jean A. Flanagan
Randy Bailey has the perfect process for restoring an old house. “If you listen to the house it will tell you what to do.”
Bailey and his partner, Richard Thompson, are in the process of listening to the historic McMechen House on Main Street in Moorefield. The pair bought the historic bed and breakfast and are in the process of restoring it to its original grandeur.
Retired educators, Bailey, from Page County, Virginia and Thompson, from Rockingham County, Virginia, have been looking for a business for almost a decade.
“We wanted to live and work in the same place,” Thompson said.
“And we wanted to do something fun,” Bailey said. “We retired, but weren’t ready to retire. We wanted to continue to do something in public service.”
“Our goal was always to have a bed and breakfast,” Thompson said. “But we never expected the other things.”
“We expected something smaller,” Bailey echoed.
The “other things” include a coffee shop and bakery, and eventually a gift shop, in addition to the bed and breakfast. They are all in the plans for the McMechen House.
The coffee shop will feature a simple menu and will be open from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. Coffee, hot and iced tea, cappuccino and hot chocolate will accompany a special of the day and a few other breakfast items.
The bakery will open at 7:30 a.m. as well, but will close when the last item is sold.
“Whatever I bake that day is there and when it’s gone, it’s gone,” Bailey said. “When the shutters are open, the bakery is open. When the shutters are closed, the bakery is closed.”
Neither Bailey nor Thompson have had formal culinary training. “Just my mother and grandmother,” Bailey said. But they managed a catering business in Luray for 20 years.
The bed and breakfast will be a progression.