Poplar Springs Manor –New Priorities for a Historic Venue

 

A Section of the Driveway to Poplar Springs Circa 1932

Happy August to you all who have been following Jane Hall’s story and other posts. Please disregard the much older post you just received about Poplar Springs history as it was not supposed to be resent.  I simply looked it up for some info.

But there is news. Poplar Springs has a new owner as of July 11. It will be a reception and event venue (as it was when I originally started doing that in the 1990s in “spare time” in order to keep the property open–it has had two other owners since then). But that means it will no longer be available all the time for individuals to stay at the inn, or ever book for meals at the now closed restaurant, or come for happy hours as was the case with the prior owners (who have been most gracious to deal with).  There will be an opportunity to join the spa or come for the day, and to stay at the inn when no big events are planned. The new owner, Antonio Cecchi, is an expert in event planning and execution in several places in Northern Virginia already. An article in Fauquier Now (8/8) explains their plans as described by new owner Antonio Cecchi:

“They [have]closed the restaurant, refreshed the buildings and grounds and rebranded the venue as Poplar Springs Manor, dropping inn and spa from its name.

Those two elements will reopen to the public, however. The spa offers a range of services, and patrons may buy passes to its saltwater pool for $15 a day or $100 a month. The pool and spa have limited beverage and food services.

Available first to wedding and events clients, the 21-room inn also will offer its services to the public on a limited basis, Mr. Cecchi explained. An online booking service soon will allow guests to reserve rooms on dates that don’t conflict with events there.

He described the Fauquier property as a natural complement to his company’s other venues, which include Raspberry Plain Manor and Rose Hill Manor near Leesburg. Along with Foxchase Manor in Prince William County, those venues host more than 700 weddings and events a year, according to Mr. Cecchi.

Already, he said, clients have booked Raspberry Plain Manor for every Saturday and Sunday through 2019.

That will create more opportunities for Poplar Springs, which already had a base of events business, and Gala Cuisine, the parent company that offers a range of catering services, Mr. Cecchi said.

“We have venues in Loudoun, Prince William and, now, Fauquier,” he said. “Each one offers something a little different.”

Rental prices for Poplar Springs Manor range from $8,000 to $10,000 for an event. The company offers a range of a la carte options for food, beverages and service. Clients also can use outside caterers.

A client can rent the entire inn for $4,000 a night or a suite for $500.

Will the venue make money?

“Oh, of course,” Mr. Cecchi said. “We don’t start without knowing the outcome we expect . . . .

“Overall, we’re just cleaning it up, giving it the TLC it needs . . . . The building’s in great shape.”

Hoping to learn more about the plans for Poplar Springs, Casanova resident Ike Miller drove up to Foxchse for Tuesday night’s event.

“I’m disappointed that you won’t be open for dinner,” Mr. Miller told Mr. Cecchi. “But, I understand your business model.”

As they talked, dozens of couples wandered around the large ballroom, talking with photographers, DJs, bartenders and caterers eager for their business. With a large, diverse staff, Gala Cuisine handles lots of international weddings, with a range of global food options and customs.

Mr. Miller, who owns a flooring business in Warrenton, later said: “I’m glad someone with experience and means bought (Poplar Springs). They know what they’re doing.”

Poplar Springs will host an open house to showcase its offerings on Sunday night, Nov. 4, Mr. Cecchi said.”

And here is a link from the Smithsonian that describes the real estate success of the family patriarch Giuseppe Cecchi  who built the Watergate and much more.

I will miss the restaurant on the rare occasions that I travel to Virginia as will many people who live in the area. The new owners will, however, reach out to the local community. Although I had nothing to do with the sale, I did have a congenial conversation with Antonio Cecchi about some of their plans for the historic property.