Inn on Coventry celebrates 35 years of business

Mary Haley and Debra Duirk, owners of the Inn on Coventry. [Photo courtesy Debra Duirk.]

The Inn on Coventry is celebrating its 35th anniversary this summer, and its owners, Debra Duirk and Mary Haley, are planning some special events to celebrate.

The restaurant opened on July 27, 1981. This year, July 27 is “Throwback Wednesday” at the Inn; coffee will be free (with purchase of food), and buttermilk pancakes will be available for $1 each. In addition, starting June 20, the Inn will be giving raffle tickets to diners; prizes include a mountain bike decorated with a Coca-Cola logo, and certificates good for free coffee for a year and free breakfast specials for a month. The restaurant also plans to offer 35th-anniversary Inn on Coventry T-shirts and sweatshirts as part of the raffle, and for purchase. The raffle drawing will be held on July 27.

“I really just want to thank everyone for supporting us over the last 35 years,” said Duirk. “We really just want to show our appreciation, and that’s why we are having the specials and the raffle.”

Duirk and Haley met shortly after graduating from college, and both had dreamed about opening a restaurant. They liked the artsy and eclectic feel of Coventry, and there had recently been a fire in the building at 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard, so it was available for rent. They took over the space and have been there ever since.  

Originally, Mary Haley’s mother, Amy Haley, was the Inn’s chef. She was 68 when the restaurant opened, and she worked as the Inn’s chief cook until her death in 2010, just a week before her 97th birthday.

The restaurant is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. As its hours indicate, the Inn serves only breakfast, brunch and lunch.

The restaurant’s breakfast menu features eggs benedict (and turkey benedict, and lox benedict), omelets, French toast and eight different types of pancakes. The lunch menu features a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, such as chicken sandwiches reubens, tuna melts, sloppy joes, and hamburgers.

“Everything is made from scratch,” Duirk said, “and there are no preservatives.”

Over the years, the Inn on Coventry has won many awards for its food, including Best Breakfast and Best Brunch awards from Cleveland magazine, Northern Ohio Live and Channel 8. It also won two Best of the Heights awards for Best Breakfast or Brunch, in 2010 and 2011.

Prior to the July 27 celebration, the Inn will close for two weeks. The week of July 11, the owners plan to take a vacation. Then, the following week, they’ll be renovating the restaurant. “We are putting in new carpeting and new tables and chairs,” Duirk said. “We will also be doing a lot of cleaning and making other repairs. We want it to look bright and spiffy for our celebration.”

James Henke

James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley. He is on the board of FutureHeights, and is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee.

Read More on Business
Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:01 AM, 06.21.2016