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Little Sisters Inn at Herrings opens today

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HERRINGS — Two sisters hope to restore a historical building to its former glory.

Kimberly A. Stiles and Shelley D. Stevens have taken over the operation of the Herrings Inn, renaming it Little Sisters Inn at Herrings.

“We wanted to keep Herrings in the name for the historical value,” Mrs. Stevens said.

“We love the old building,” added her sister, who said the building was once a stagecoach stop.

Ms. Stiles has had three decades of experience in the restaurant industry, having managed an Irish pub and yacht club in Lighthouse Point, Fla. Returning to the north country, she managed a local private club.

Mrs. Stevens works in corrections. However, the women come from a family of restaurateurs and grew up working in the industry. Family members have owned the Cattlemen’s East in Morristown, LeRay Hotel and Last Call in Evans Mills.

In fact, the notion of starting their own restaurant came while helping their uncle Gary Manford at the Phoenix Restaurant at Van Heuvel II Marina on Lake Bonaparte.

“We worked well together and had fun. People said we should open a place,” Mrs. Stevens said.

They hope to bring that spirit to their business and run it like “one big happy family.” To that end, the sisters have hired relatives to help out.

“We are thankful to our family and friends who have helped us,” Mrs. Stevens said.

The women hope to be involved in community projects.

“We want to help charities and host fundraisers to contribute to the community,” Ms. Stiles said.

They plan to continue serving basic meals of steak, seafood and American specialities with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients. The women have planted a garden behind the restaurant and have potted herb gardens inside.

Scott M. Smallman will be the restaurant’s main chef. Originally from the Rochester area, he honed his skills in restaurants there and at the New York State Wine and Culinary Center, Canandaigua. He said he will prepare the classics with a bit more refinement, adding his flair for French cuisine to some recipes. He will be looking to redefine the basic grill menu to suit the customer’s needs.

Local cook Todd LaFave will man the kitchen to bring a hearty lunch menu, the new owners said.

“Our most important goal is to provide excellent food with excellent service,” Ms. Stiles said. She holds a master’s degree in communication and has developed a customer service program that she has used in other businesses.

The bar-restaurant at 35802 Route 3 will be open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with the kitchen open until 9 p.m. starting today. The hours will be 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with food served until 9 p.m.; it will be closed Sundays.

The Little Sisters Inn at Herrings will have special drink prices Friday night and live entertainment with a guest appearance by Cody Douglas, Hurricane Kristy and the Four-Barrel from Nebraska at 8 p.m.

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