A staple of fine dining and fashionable society since it opened its doors in June 1924, the Granville Inn kicked off its centennial celebration on Sunday afternoon with a revival of its bygone afternoon tea service. 

With tickets for the event selling out in less than 24 hours, the Inn plans to implement bimonthly afternoon teas, part of its initiative to both recall the past and strive for the future as it reaches triple digits. 

“So many people will say, ‘Oh, we got married here 40 years ago,’ or, ‘We’ve been coming here since I was a kid with my grandparents,’” said Food and Beverage Director Ben Schulman. “We’ve gone through a lot of renovations. So it’s a new feel, but we still get the same people coming back saying ‘I was here for’ whatever it was. I think the big part that we’re carrying forward is, we’re still that place that people come when they want to celebrate.”

The Inn, which was originally the project of coal and railroad tycoon John Sutphin Jones, is giving the community plenty of excuses to celebrate this coming week. On Wednesday evening, the Granville Inn will host a ticketed Centennial Gala, complete with period inspired cocktails from the Bee’s Knees to Blood and Sand and a “dress to impress” code of attire. 

As the grand finale of a week’s worth of festivities – and a century’s worth of history – the Inn aims to recreate the June 26, 1924 grand opening of the hotel, which is said to have been attended by 5,000 guests. On Saturday, the lawn of the Granville Inn will host live music, food and drink, and family-friendly activities in a modern reimagination of that first event.

“It’s kind of our treat back to the community for supporting us for the past hundred years,” Schulman said. 

The inn plans to celebrate the 100-year anniversary all year, with periodic events and bimonthly teas. 

“Granville Inn is proud to celebrate a century of time-honored tradition and close-knit community values,” Brooke Walton, the inn’s general manager, said in a press release. “We eagerly anticipate commemorating this milestone achievement throughout the year, reaffirming our commitment to excellence in dining and hospitality.”

The hotel hopes that by inviting the community out for a day of play, it will usher in a new era where the Granville Inn is a destination for the small celebrations – the made-it-to-Friday wins – as well as the big. With one eye on the past, the Granville Inn is stepping into a new century, and it’s ready to have some fun. 

Emma Baum writes for TheReportingProject.org, the nonprofit news organization of Denison University’s Journalism program, which is supported by generous donations from readers. Sign up for The Reporting Project newsletter here.