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A 245-year-old Connecticut inn says COVID has been it's greatest challenge yet

Griswold Inn, Essex, Connecticut
Joe Mabel
Wikimedia Commons
Griswold Inn, Essex, Connecticut

Connecticut’s historic Griswold Inn said the COVID-19 pandemic is its biggest challenge in nearly 250 years of business. They said they’re counting on more federal funding to survive.

The inn opened in Essex in 1776 — it was captured by the British during the War of 1812. Owner Geoffrey Paul’s family bought the inn in the ’90s. He said the taproom closed for more than a year due to the pandemic.

“Our busiest month of the year is December and we had to shut down again at Christmas completely through New Years — we lost New Years, which is of course a big night,” Paul said.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal visited the inn last week. He’s one sponsor of a bill to deliver a second wave of relief to restaurants and other establishments. Connecticut businesses, including the Griswold Inn, got about $300 million under the first round of funding last year.

Blumenthal said he hopes to pass the bill as part of the omnibus budget in March.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.