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  • Alleged robbery leaves bartender scarred for life

    Alleged robbery leaves bartender scarred for life

    Alleged robbery leaves bartender scarred for life

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:18:38 GMT
    In Summers Countythe Lilly Pad Bar in Hilldale was taken by surprise over the weekend.According to reports, two men allegedly walked into the bar with knives demanding money. Around 1:00AM on Sundaythere were only two people in the entire bar, the bartender and a customer.Two men allegedly came in armed with knives. and tied up the customer and cut his hand.After that, deputies say the robbers took 7-8 thousand dollars from the bar.While this was going on, the bartender says she was cut acros...
    In Summers Countythe Lilly Pad Bar in Hilldale was taken by surprise over the weekend.According to reports, two men allegedly walked into the bar with knives demanding money. Around 1:00AM on Sundaythere were only two people in the entire bar, the bartender and a customer.Two men allegedly came in armed with knives. and tied up the customer and cut his hand.After that, deputies say the robbers took 7-8 thousand dollars from the bar.While this was going on, the bartender says she was cut acros...
  • Will parking be an issue for Saints fans as the State Fair of West Virginia comes to town?

    Will parking be an issue for Saints fans as the State Fair of West Virginia comes to town?

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:29 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:29:53 GMT
    Local New Orleans Saints fans continue to watch and enjoy their beloved team as they continue to practice in our area. But as the State Fair of West Virginia grows closer and closer, some are concerned if parking will soon be an issue.
    Local New Orleans Saints fans continue to watch and enjoy their beloved team as they continue to practice in our area. But as the State Fair of West Virginia grows closer and closer, some are concerned if parking will soon be an issue.
  • Lane closure planned to repair East River Mountain Tunnel

    Lane closure planned to repair East River Mountain Tunnel

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:21 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:21:20 GMT
    Starting on Tuesday, July 29, the northbound lanes of Interstate-77 through the East River Mountain tunnel will be closed.  The lanes are being closed to allow crews to repair the tunnel after a fire that happened over the weekend.
    Starting on Tuesday, July 29, the northbound lanes of Interstate-77 through the East River Mountain tunnel will be closed.  The lanes are being closed to allow crews to repair the tunnel after a fire that happened over the weekend.

Inn offers respite for weary city escapees

By Maggie Wolff Peterson For The State Journal

LOST RIVER — It's been less than a year since Michael Cooley and Gary Robinson decided to leave behind careers in Washington, D.C., and become the proprietors of a favorite West Virginia destination, the Guesthouse at Lost River.

Located in Hardy County, the country inn has been a retreat for travelers from Washington and Baltimore since its opening in 1982. What started as a personal getaway for a real estate developer has become 30 acres adjacent to the George Washington National Forest that lures hikers, anglers, equestrians and folks who simply seek the verdant quiet of a secluded river valley.

"We're definitely a unique respite for the D.C. and Baltimore work force," Robinson said. "We're all about relaxation."

Onsite are spa amenities that include a gym, Jacuzzi and steam room and staff masseuse. Indoors are a pool table, media room and multiple fireplaces that invite a cozy afternoon. Outdoors are a swimming pool, patio and decking furnished for gathering. The style of the inn is rustic. However, the 18 guest rooms, spread among five buildings, all feature English-made Molton Brown bath and body products. Some rooms permit pets.

The inn first came to prominence as a gay-friendly resort that received glowing reviews in such publications as the Washington Blade. The new proprietors intend to keep that vibe, but extend it as well. "We are absolutely inclusive," Robinson said.

The inn also markets itself as a wedding and corporate retreat. Robinson said with 400 weekend homes in the vicinity, the lodge has always been gathering spot.

"If you think about the Lost River Valley as a country club, we're kind of like the clubhouse," he said.   

Additionally, Cooley and Robinson have localized the inn with the hire of Chef Joseph Hano, a native of Augusta, whose menus change frequently. 

"We're working with local vendors to get what's fresh and in season," Robinson said.

When strawberries ripened abundantly in May, the menu reflected it, even including a strawberry-steak salad. Long-time favorites such as filet mignon remain, but with the strength of chicken farming in the region, the proprietors are using that local product in a new way. A brown sugar-brined, oven-roasted chicken dish now on the menu reflects not only local poultry but also Robinson's palate for southern cooking.

The day-to-day business of hospitality has turned out to be more work than expected. "There are so many aspects of making the inn run," Robinson said.

But there are rewards. 

"It's a joy to have people come in," he said.