COPENHAGEN — It was a homecoming for Denise K. Young and her husband, Daniel A., who have reopened the Cottage Inn.
The establishment was twice owned by her mother, Alice VanCour, and the VanCours operated the inn for 30 of its 120-year history. Mrs. Young said her father, R.K., built the bar portion in 1965.
Although the Youngs are not restaurateurs, the opportunity presented itself and the couple decided to give it a try.
“It's an opportunity to bring the Cottage back with a new look and upscale food and wine,” said Mrs. Young.
“It's an amazing old building with old architecture and is a piece of the history of the area,” she said.
After months of cleaning, repairing and renovating with help of Mrs. Young's brother and sister-in-law, Lester and Deb Beyer, the Cottage Inn reopened July 26 at 9794 State Route 12. They have put in new windows and a new roof, done work in the cellar and remodeled and updated the kitchen.
During renovations, Mr. Young found a piece of the back bar that dates to 1892 and now adorns the wall near the front entrance.
The establishment has been closed for nearly a year and the Youngs will host a grand opening Saturday that will feature drink and food specials. The restaurant serves “upscale pub food” that is “fresh” and “homemade in house,” said Mrs. Young.
Opening the restaurant on Main Street was also a piece of the bigger plan. The couple began planting a vineyard three years ago outside of the village and feel the inn will offer the “perfect outlet” for their product once they begin producing wine.
The owners hope to have the Cottage Inn featured on the north country wine tour and plan to renovate rooms upstairs to accommodate snowmobilers.
“Copenhagen is the new Sackets,” Mrs. Young said.
The establishment is open weekdays, except Tuesday, from 4 p.m. to midnight and weekends from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Chef Robert E. Bowen said he grew up in a family restaurant in Wyoming. He honed his trade working in Florida as a sous chef and has worked locally at Carlowden Country Club, Denmark; Sahara Restaurant, Fargo; Black River Valley Club, Watertown and Canale's Restaurant, Watertown.
The menu will include stone- baked pizza, traditional wings and speciality Asian spice and Greek varieties. There are burgers, sandwiches, wraps, chicken pot pie and fish and chips area also on the menu.
Mrs. Young will make many of the desserts, which include creme brulee, apple pie and lemon bars.
Mrs. Young is on a three-month leave from her job as the executive director for the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization. Her husband is the manager for KEI Energy, Lyons Falls. On Monday, Mrs. Young was named the 2012 winner of the ATHENA Award for her business and community leadership by the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce.