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Pond Inn Restaurant to be Revived

One of Wildwood's historic restaurants has a new owner who says she will restore the location to its former glory.

One historic restaurant—The Pond Inn—has sat vacant in Wildwood at 17250 Manchester Road and the intersection of Pond Road for several years now. But it will be vacant no more in the future, as noted at Wildwood's city council meeting on Monday. Signs of refurbishing there were noticed by several Wildwoodians lately.

Activity at the location is a welcomed sight. The property once operated as an inn and restaurant, but closed some years ago due to a fire.

Bethany Mehard and her husband, William, purchased a home in Wildwood this January. She also purchased the Pond Inn property, indicating she hopes to reopen it in early April as a restaurant bearing its former name, Pond Inn. Wildwood director of planning and parks Joe Vujnich said Monday he also was aware of the April target date.

The property includes the main two-story building, which will house the restaurant, as well as two additional buildings. Renovations to the main building are under way.

Mehard, who holds a background in design and real estate, is redesigning the space herself, according to a blog posting in Sauce Magazine. Construction plans include adding a new 2,700-square-foot patio. One of the other buildings, an old stable, will undergo renovations in fall 2013, she said.

Although the menu is still in the development stage, Pond Inn general manager Michael Sottile told Sauce Magaine last week it would be geared around small plates, and wine would be the focus on the drink side.

Roger Vincent November 19, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Hope they do well. They will have an uphill battle sprucing that place up.
Charyl November 19, 2012 at 01:02 PM
I had the same experience. Food was food, but the place was a "little Weathered."
Margaret Eisenberger November 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM
I waitressed there for a couple of years to supplement my teacher's salary. The place showed its age when we turned the lights up to vacuum at the end of the night, but while customers were there in the glow of candles the ambience was quite romantic. The chef was the owner's French wife, assisted by one of their daughters, and was authentic and delicious French provincial cooking. I can bear witness to the great attention to detail and the perfectionism of the chef! It seemed expensive but once you reserved your table it was yours for the entire evening if you wished. They did not expect turnover, but if someone did leave early there always seemed to be some last minute caller hoping to pop in for coffee and dessert.
Mary Anthonis November 19, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I ate there a long time ago when I worked at St. Louis Magazine (not the current StL Mag). It was probably 1978-79. I think the chef/owners name was Jon Koin and it was a very cool little place with good food. I lived in the city at the time and it was quite a hike to go there, but worth it.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) November 19, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Wonder how many owners this property has had over time?
Ted Barklage November 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM
My family has enjoyed several dinners there in the past. The French cooking was great. It has been a shame to see it sit vacant so long. I'm happy someone is finally reopening it. We will definitely give it a try!
Ros Ranney November 19, 2012 at 05:37 PM
We dined at the Pond Inn pretty regularly around 1990. Can anyone - especially if you worked there - remember what liquor was added to the snail stew (and any other ingredients). I've been trying to recreate the dish or find something similar to no avail. I've also been trying to remember the owner's last name, because I thought I would contact Nadige, their daughter, who we knew as well. Thanks for any help or thoughts!
Michael Morarin November 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Best of luck to you Bethany and Bill, I have seen Bethany's work in the past, and it's nothing short of amazing!!!
Bethany Mehard November 29, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and well wishes. The excitement that we have experienced form the neighbors and the community have given my team and I the inspiration to continue to get through all the layers of dilapidation that years of neglect have left for us! I am working with the most brilliant and gifted designer, Carol Keeling of "C K Interiors," who's show stopping work will bring life to "The Pond Inn" as never before. I have worked with Carol on several projects in the past; her magical talent is unsurpassed! In November I hired the restaurants general manager, Michael Sottile, who's experience and passion for fine food and wine will exceed expectation! Thank you again for all of the support! See you in the spring! Cheers!!
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) November 29, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Bethany, so, so exciting to hear you all are up for the challenge. Wildwoodians love their historical roots, and it's wonderful of you to revive a part of that as you build a new business.
Rose Scott Newell January 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Bethany you are a smart beautiful lady ,this place will be fantastic ,can't wait for it to open . Good luck to you .
Nancy Collier March 17, 2013 at 04:26 PM
I always wanted to eat at the inn and finally did shortly before it closed. Loved the food and atmosphere so much I bought a gift certificate for a wedding gift and the in closed before my friends could use it. I'm wondering, it would be wonderful if you could honor my gift certificate when you open. It was for $75.00. Please let me know if you will and I will definitely come in myself to dine. Best of luck to you. Also, a french cuisine would be great!! Nancy Collier

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