Welcome Inn Manor Starting a Bed & Breakfast in Chicago – Mell & Angie: Our Journey (2012-Present):
Angie met Mell 20 years ago in his previous life as an executive placement specialist when one of his candidates introduced them, and it was love at first sight because both are fun, free-spirited people who love to enjoy life. After marriage, they lived in the West Loop, River North and South Loop where they invested in a joint condominium before purchasing their first home together. Angie insisted on investing and restoring a historic house in one of Chicago’s emerging communities, and Bronzeville seemed like the perfect place to consider given the area’s unique legacy. As a native of the city, Angie always loved old houses with lots of character and an interesting past. They fell in love with a Queen Anne Victorian house that sits on a corner lot with a spacious yard and an oversized garage. They soon adopted their lovable big boy- Sinbad, a bullmastiff puppy to relish in the journey.
Neither had intentions of starting a bed and breakfast after purchasing the home in 2002. The two simply wanted to work on a large home they thought they could afford not very far away from Chicago’s exciting downtown loop. Mell and Angie tried to budget for the rehabilitation and restoration plan for the home over an 8 year period until they ran short of funds. Despite being incomplete, Mell and Angie found themselves hosting many social events and unique venues for large groups and gatherings- all of which they thoroughly enjoyed. Sinbad loved cuddling with all those who entered the doors.
In order to complete the long journey of restoring their 1893 home, they stumbled across the inspiration to launch a bed and breakfast venture mainly because they lived only a few miles away from the largest convention facility in North America – McCormick Convention Center. The University of Chicago is also 5 minutes away where thousands of curious scholars visit each month. Their dwelling is walking distance to Lakeshore Drive with easy access to numerous public transportation options. There are a plethora of other interesting sites and landmarks in a distance not more than 15 minutes away. This ideal location on the Near South Side sits near a countless number of breathtaking gems, architectural discoveries and a few minutes away from 4 major highways and ten minutes to 50 site-seeing adventures.
After writing a successful business plan for their bank, Mell and Angie launched their new business so they could finally restore their extraordinary home in the manner in which it deserved. Committing to the idea of running a B&B also sounded like it would be a fun way to share what both socialites know about Chicago’s amazing history, unseen sites- and having guests experience staying in an authentic Chicago home among friends!
Angie knows a great deal about Chicago’s history and its neighborhoods, and she loves trying out new recipes with the new journey. Mell, a native of New Jersey, has become quite astute about Chicago’s past, and as the official Innkeeper, he loves to entertain and create his own original concoctions. While Angie has a real job as a Speech Pathologist with the Chicago Board of Education, Mell assumes the role of being the Innkeeper or great socialize (not a real job- according to Angie!); so he can engage with lots of curious visitors among all cultures and ethnic groups. And Sinbad also agreed to sign on as a participant with the notion of hugging up to visiting newcomers and sharing his comfy home.
Mell & Angie’s philosophy for running the business is simple: “it’s not hard to be nice!” After 3 years since starting the business, the Innkeepers are welcoming hosts to over 200 guests and have earned the ranking of #3 by Trip Advisor as compared to 20 other businesses in their class. Guests are encouraged to enjoy Chicago and their home- (The Motto): “our place and yours”.
- Posted by QCDC
- On January 14, 2015
- 0 Comments