Jefferson City's historic Cliff Manor, which housed Jefferson City's only bed & breakfast until it closed last November, will reopen around June 1 under new ownership.
Local public relations firm Communique Inc. purchased the Civil War-era home about three weeks ago from Tom and Liz Hagar-Mace for an undisclosed price.
Communique CEO Steve Veille said Lenore Abboud, the sister of Communique's administrative assistant, will move here from the Austin, Texas, area to be the innkeeper of Cliff Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn. She'll do everything from greeting and checking in the guests to cooking them breakfast.
"She's a very artistic and creative person," Veile said. "We really look forward to having her take charge of the inn."
Veile has been working with others to renovate parts of the home, primarily the dining room. It shared space with the living room, and is being redone to have its own space. An apartment for the innkeeper and a half-bath is being installed upstairs, and other changes will be made over time, Veile said.
But overall, Veile said, the house is in good shape. "When we first looked at it, we thought we could start this up tomorrow," he said, adding that it came already furnished.
Cliff Manor was built in 1866 by Judge Arnold Krekel, who moved to Jefferson City after being appointed by President Lincoln to the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri a year earlier. Krekel, who opposed slavery, was instrumental in founding Lincoln University.
So why is a public relations firm buying a Civil War-era home? "Diversity," Veile says with a chuckle.
Veile, president of the Historic City of Jefferson, has always had an interest in history and a particular fondness for bed and breakfasts. He and his wife have stayed at B&Bs across the nation for years.
"We know how they work, and we've enjoyed them so much," he said. "People there are generally the nicest people. When you stay in a B&B, it's totally different than a hotel experience. You sit down at a dining room table with people you don't know. At a B&B, you go out of your way to become acquainted with the guests."
Many of Cliff Manor's guests come from the Katy Trail. And since the city's pedestrian bike bridge opened in 2011, it's even easier for people to find the business, which is a stone's throw from the north side of the bike bridge. Veile said lobbyists and legislators are also a big part of the clientele, and that he's heard from a surprising number of local residents who say they've stayed there.
The nightly rates vary between $85 and $159, depending on the room. More information can be found at Cliff Manor's website: www.cliffmanor.com/guest-rooms.
Correction, posted April 24, 2013: Steve Veile is president of the Historic City of Jefferson. The original version of this article had his title incorrect. The text above has since been edited to reflect the correction.