• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

‘We don’t want to leave’, Addie’s & The Woodford Inn close Dec. 26

Linda Parker said until a few days before she and husband Bruce closed Addie’s and The Woodford Inn on Dec. 26, they were still hoping to come up with a new lease to continue operations.

“I could have told (employees) the day before Christmas, and my husband and I sat down and said, ‘You know what – you need to let everybody enjoy their Christmas …” Parker said.

Parker said she was unable to come to an agreement with property owner John Lauderdale to deal with what she called high overhead and needed repairs, but had a good relationship with Lauderdale. They were on a month-to-month lease agreement, she said.

Lauderdale was unavailable for comment.

The staff and public were informed of their decision the day after Christmas, and the Parkers came in for a good deal of criticism on social media over the short notice and other matters, such as their new business in Lexington. Parker said the early-December opening of their delicatessen and catering business there, Stein’s by Addie’s, had nothing to do with their decision to close what had become a near-institution in Versailles.

“Back in July, we looked at the space we had here and the expense … to fit it up for catering, and it wasn’t feasible,” Parker said. “We felt like maybe (the Lexington store) could take the pressure off the kitchen here in Versailles, because we’re killing our staff. The kitchen was fairly small and dated, and so we felt like that probably we could find a space in Lexington to do catering … which would in turn make this better, and we could focus more on the people who are coming to this inn and this restaurant.”

Parker said renovations needed at their new shop on Southland Drive in Lexington were more extensive than they’d initially thought, pushing back the planned opening by about four months.

“We wanted them to enhance each other – we didn’t want one to hurt another,” she said. Leaving Versailles was “never a thought” until a few days before Christmas, she added.

In 2011, the Parkers took over operation of The Woodford Inn and Addie’s in the former Cleveland Home building, which was built in 1927 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cleveland Home had been an orphanage for poor female children before becoming a residential treatment facility for female adolescents.

“We love it here. Versailles has supported us for seven-and-a-half years …” Parker said, adding that she and her husband have given jobs in Lexington to some Versailles employees and are writing letters of recommendation for others.

“It is a sad thing, and it is probably the most painful thing that we’ve ever had to do,” she said.

Lillie Cox, who worked part-time at Addie’s and has been a friend of the Parkers for years, said she hated to hear them criticized for their decision.

“They love Woodford County and have done so much for it,” said Cox, whose hosting duties including touting Woodford County to visitors. (Her letter to the editor is on page two.) Cox said the Parkers often opened their facility to non-profit groups and others without charging a thing.

“There are people who come in there for family weddings, bereavement … (who) are thrilled to have a place like that to stay and get a good breakfast with their room. It’s just a sad, sad day,” said Cox.

While Addie’s was closed Dec. 26, The Woodford Inn had guests scheduled through New Year’s Eve, Parker said last Friday.

“We’ll serve them breakfast. We’ve talked to them. We’ve told them that … we’ll take good care of them, and that will be it,” Parker said. Parker said Addie’s continued to sell gift certificates through mid-December or so, and those will be honored at their Lexington restaurant, by catering, or with a cash refund. A garage sale of dishes, art and other items is scheduled at The Woodford Inn Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. – and the bar will be open, she said.

Meanwhile, a return of Addie’s to another Versailles location is not out of the question, Parker said.

“It’s personal for us. It’s a family thing for us. We don’t want to leave,” Parker said. “It just didn’t work out.”

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