The Vienna Story

 

 

The Story Begins in Longmeadow, MA on Forest Glen Rd.

Mitch & Tess Krach were bringing up 5 children.  

While quite dynamic even at the age 9, Jonathan and his brothers became entrepreneurs by starting Krach brothers Inc. an All Season Lawn Care & Catering business – budded mainly to entertain Mom & Dad’s business clients & friends – later well-known for their professionalism of these events. You could catch a glimpse of young Jonathan in his tuxedo pouring Champagne & engaging in conversation with the Mayor, Governor or even the Bishop.  Hard work was quite proverbial to them; they spent the summer of 1978/79 unloading railroad cars at Lynch Lumber where Mitch Krach managed the business. They would often stop at a local restaurant around the corner after work and that is when they had an epiphany. 

In 1979, at a tender age of 17, Jonathan and his siblings purchased a neighborhood “Gin Mill” called the Hofbrauhaus in West Springfield.  A shot & a beer was only a $.95.   After one solid year of extensive renovation they prevailed, by word of mouth a new trend had been born - the “H. B.” aka The Hofbrauhaus !  It was a success but only because of unbelievable sacrifice and dedication from the staff & family.  Both Jonathan and his brother Mitch were mentored by Johanna Sanczuk, their Grandmother who was in the restaurant/Hotel business for 35 years in Springfield’s famous Highland Hotel and later Student Prince & the Fort restaurant.  The brothers most fortunate to have had tutelage with Stewart “Scottie” Gray as well, Roger Fessaguet and the late Robert Meyzen, Sr. of New York’s famed La Caravelle.  Both Fassaguet & Meyzen; were masters of both Front & Back of the House decorum. 

The real boost came after appearing on “Phantom Gourmet” channel “3” out of Hartford, CT, and their lives were never the same! Whether it be opening other restaurants, saving the historic “Log Cabin” atop scenic Mount Tom in  Holyoke, MA, catering homecoming for troops after the first Gulf War for 10,000 people, operating the Hofbrauhaus Alpine festival at the “Big E” Eastern States Exposition or being a private Chef for luminaries upon their corporate jets and private yachts.

The fast life came to an end with the Hofbrauhaus being sold in 1995. Jonathan took a break from the fast pace of the restaurant business and decided to work in the field of Technical Recruiting working with Boeing, Lear Jet, BMW and Pratt & Whitney to name a few.  His diverse knowledge in these areas made him a natural, but he truly missed his love of restaurants.  He continued to consult on the side.

Lisa met Jonathan while briefly working as Salad Garni Chef in 1993. After briefly dating, 5 years passed with out seeing each other.  After being mentioned in conversation, Lisa now working as Bridal Consultant for the Log Cabin, she decided to locate Jonathan.  After catching up with each other –they married 10 months later in 1999.  With a new blended family upon them, they opted to work together on an ongoing consulting consignment in Charlemont, MA.  The Warfield House – a 530 acre family farm was developed by Jonathan 4 years prior.

Jonathan was again hired to rescue it from closing its doors due to family dispute.  With 19 years of restaurant experience but never running an Inn, Lisa had her work cut out for her!  Historic Inn’s and Bed & Breakfasts had always fascinated Lisa; however she couldn’t see it easily fitting into her schedule of being a young mother.  She soon found herself in charge of decorating the two Inn houses, planning weddings and assisting in the restaurant duties while being a Mom of 2 small girls at the time just 4 & 9.  After being promised a chance to purchase the property, the owner returned from a winter in Florida and had re-thought his decision.  Jonathan said ...

“It is time to think of getting our own place”.

 

Not a week had gone by when an old friend was recorded on the message machine; it was Keith. Thru a very serendipitous connection, friend Keith Leaning, previously Head Bartender at the Hofbrauhaus, now a masonry contractor, called his old friend Jonathan with a need for a consultant on laying out a Pub and Restaurant in an old historic building in Southbridge called the “Flat Iron”.  The job was completed two-days later.  The person was Gabriel McCarthy, satisfied with the work Jonathan had done, he asked about his newest property he was just completing the building 14 South Street, soon to be Vienna Restaurant & Historic Inn.

This was a huge leap of faith!  Everyone told us we would fail, they all wished us a "Good Luck".  We felt differently and that is why the story was born...

Circa 1812 – A prominent 3-story Italianate Revival towers over upper Main Street of historic downtown Southbridge, a town rich in history and architecture. Our home was first built & inhabited by Major William Love, then Remuddled to be an Italianate-style by J.J. Oakes, Southbridge’s Postmaster who   lived in the home for 67 years until his death in 1909.  Then the prominent John Delehanty family owned several stores and properties in town.  They lived in the home with their 7 children until the depression, later having the home reconfigured into an 8 family tenement to ride out the economic woes of the times. 

This home was rescued from a test burn by the town Fire Department & wrecking ball and is now listed on the National Historic Register. It was restored to its original footprint, a single-family home in 2001 to become a “Butler Academy ” for neighboring Connecticut clients, the contract dissolved. 

Developer/Chef Krach was intrigued by the structure and bought it for them selves!  The Krach family operates a full-service European restaurant on premise with room service. Impressive period antiques & authentically refreshing décor of Austria & Germany make this a true romantic destination. During summer months we invite you to read on our front porch or outside patio with fireplace – great for a late night beverage. In winter months, relax or meet friends in our cozy parlor room by the original wood burning fireplace and a triple hardwood floor of Chestnut, Oak & Ebony.

We are centrally located from the Cities of Boston, Providence, Hartford and Springfield (they are only 45 minutes) from the Sturbridge Area. A great location for a midway point for a business meeting or friends just wanting to get together for a "catching up" dinner party.

Vienna is the first Southbridge Bed & Breakfast in a town of rich historical significance for the entire world. A museum is now being created to celebrate the American Optical Company & other industrial firsts.  A primary employer for the entire 20th century, with as many as 8,000 people all working to make what is now a common pair of eyeglasses. This town of Southbridge was one of the first to feel the results of “out sourcing” to other countries.  The prominent Wells family was singly responsible for not only an abundance of new jobs but creating Old Sturbridge Village & donating the Wells State Park to the state of Massachusetts. Nick named "The Eye of the Commonwealth", our town became well known for the original Ames Woolen Mills (Ames Department Stores), Hyde Tool Company (putty knives & hand tools) and the oldest continuously running Knife Company in America - Dexter Russell.

You can't drive down Main Street without noticing the majestic Notre Dame Church, worthy of being a Cathedral.  A church built by poor French-Canadian & Italian immigrants with a nickel, dime or a quarter as tidings and 32 years later, this fortress was built! Our Southbridge Bed & Breakfast was built in 1812 (now much larger and more Italianate in style) when Southbridge was yet to be settled into its own Village. The home that houses Vienna was located on the Sturbridge side of town near Center Village prior to Southbridge’s incorporation in 1816.

Our Southbridge Bed & Breakfast is only 3 miles from the Connecticut towns of Woodstock & Eastford, CT.  An Abundance of self & guided trails, just a step or peddle away.  A bike trail from Sturbridge to Worcester should soon be completed and offer 14 miles of path.  A wonderful 2 mile walk at Westville Dam & Recreation area is waiting to be explored on foot, bike or Kayak!  The “Quiet Corner of Connecticut” is nearby National Scenic Route 169, a highway which meanders thru picturesque towns of New England. Putnam/ is the Antique capital of Connecticut.

If you are an avid antique buyer or only enjoy the browse this is the area for you. Private schools such as Hyde School, Pomfret Rectory School, Woodstock Academy and Marianapolis Academy are only a 15- 20 minute drive. Yale State forest, Bigelow Hollow State Park & Wells State Park are only a small handful of well-preserved natural areas to enjoy a picnic, snowshoe, X country skiing, Kayak, swim or enjoy a family reunion.

The culinary & hospitality journey that began in the mid 70’s has been both fulfilling and gratifying.  Enjoying great food, wonderful beverages and most of all…sensational, fabulous and giving people. 

We can only hope that the next decade will be filled with the humble, the famous, the not so famous, genuinely giving and honest people that have brought us to where we are today.

What a ride it’s been!