August 20, 2019
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Brooklin Inn’s new owners won’t mind if town’s social life revolves around their business

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Jenny Lewandowski [dark hair] and Pi Piraeus prepare the Brooklin Inn for a June opening. Carpenter John Bemsheiner assisted.

BROOKLIN, Maine — Its new owners don’t know whether the Brooklin Inn was ever anything resembling the center of Brooklin’s social life, but they wouldn’t mind seeing it become just that.

Two couples bought the inn on March 15 for $330,000 and are refurbishing it now with plans to open in June. The husbands of the group, 37-year-olds John Lewandowski and Peter Collier, are childhood friends who graduated from George Stevens Academy in 2000.

They left San Francisco, where they lived until 2015, in search of something more livable.

“I loved San Francisco,” 36-year-old Jenny Lewandowski said, “but it became unaffordable when my husband and I got married. The idea of renting a two-bedroom apartment there was just too daunting. ”

A good rent there, she said, would have cost the couple at least $2,000 a month.

They have ambitious plans for the inn, which is about 100 years old. For the past 10 days, they have been tearing out walls, cleaning up tables and furniture, removing old cabinets and painting. They plan to keep it essentially as it was – a pub, restaurant and inn for visitors – but will add a coffee shop, or coffee service, to draw morning and afternoon crowds, Lewandowski said.

They reduced the number of guest rooms from five to four to make them more spacious and plan to add a porch where guests and pub and coffee customers can hang out, said Pi Piraeus, Collier’s wife, also 36.

Piraeus said she loved the history of the building, which the couples are piecing together from accounts given by neighbors. They have heard from the former owner, Michael Allen, that the building was built in the 1920s and was a private residence until the 1980s, when it became an inn.

Residents have been welcoming, Lewandowski said.

“This is a small, quaint village,” she said, “and it doesn’t have a lot going on, but it has a lot of people who want it [the inn] to succeed.”

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