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Lewes, Delaware
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April 21, 1995     Cape Gazette
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April 21, 1995

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56 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 21 - April 27, 1995 Business & Real Estate Bed and breakfast inns blossom in Cape re#on Shore Inn brings spark to Rehoboth entry By Trish Vernon The main entry to Rehoboth Beach is looking brighter and more colorful these days with the opening of The Shore Inn at Rehoboth. Ben E. Killebrew and Michael J. Roussell of Annapolis, Md. pur- chased the former Kingston Inn on Rt. 1A earlier this year and have been busy renovating the two-sto- ry motel into a congenial bed and breakfast with a definite touch of southern hospitality. With the 14-room hostelry, Killebrew and Roussell purchased a piece of local history, as it is one of the longest, continuously oper- ated "motel" in the Rehoboth Beach area. According to Jay Stein of Rehoboth Beach, who, along with wife Diane sold the Kingsto n Inn to the twosome, it was the Mal- loys, a black couple who first opened a motel on that spot in the 1950s. After the death of Mr. Malloy, the place remained vacant for a number of years (Mrs. Mal- loy still lives in a house adjacent to the property), until the Steins persuaded the widow to sell it in 1988. While the Steins spruced up the property, they had other people operating the establishment there and hadn't invested continuously in its upkeep. So Killebrew and Roussell dove head first into reno- vations this winter when they took over. Killebrew, a retired military man after 20 years of service, then recently retired after a 14-year stint as a senior communications analyst with IIT Research Insti- tute. He has been working on the renovations during the week while Roussell, a very successful hair stylist, returns to Annapolis to cater to his clientele, With a charming southern drawl, Killebrew welcomes all who pull into the lot. He is more than happy to show prospective guests the eight double bed, five single bed rooms and one suite, which he is still in the process of redecorating and refurbishing. The spacious suite has been named after the Noessels, an aunt and uncle who have been very helpful over the years. Every room is air-conditioned and features a private bath, CATV, coffee pot and refrigera- tor. Parking, of course, is free and plentiful. They took one additional guest room added it to their private suite of rooms, which includes a mod- em kitchen, master bedroom, extra bedroom and dining room. Their quarters are adjacent to the Krystal Room, where Roussell presides on weekends, as he is the baker. This is where continental breakfasts are offered, along with hospitality hours on Friday and Saturday afternoons. A hot spa and sundeck now Trish Vernon photo Michael Roussell (far right) and Ben Killebrew are seen with former owners Jay and Dian Stein during a party held to cele- brate the transformation of the motel into a bed and breakfast. grace the upstairs level and once central sewer is available in the next couple of years, they plan to add a swimming pool. With reasonable rates, Kille- brew and Roussell plan to remain open through New Year's, and are arranging special party packages, which will include a large brunch, for Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve weekends. For more information call 227- 8487. At Melissa's Bed and Breakfast a dream almost come true- Pg.57 Sea Witch Manor to open as Rehoboth's grand "painted lady" By Trish Vernon : Anticipation has mounted over the past year as Sea Witch Manor has arisen from two empty lots on Rehoboth Beach's Lake Avenue to a magnificent bed and breakfast poised to open in May. The masterminds behind this architectural and decorative mas- terpiece are Dennis and Joan San- tangini, who chose the Nation's Summer Capital over California's Sonoma Valley as the place to build their "Painted Lady", as such Victorian edifices have been nicknamed in San Francisco. Six years ago, the couple decid- ed they wanted to throw in the towel, sell their Media, Pa. service station and open a B&B, as bed and breakfasts are called. "We just got tired of employees telling us what to do and the long hours," they noted. "We started traveling and stay- ing in B&Bs. We went out to the wine country of California and looked for property, but every- thing was so expensive. Mean- while, we had a house in the Bay ,Vista section of the Rehoboth Country Club and had been com- ing down here for the past nine or ten years because we love Rehoboth. So we decided to sell that house and We found this prop- erty,'" Dennis and Joan explained In unison. They settled in the midst of a January, 1994 snowstorm and moved a house that had sat on the parcel two lots down before they broke ground on the over 5,000 square foot mansion. "We didn't want to ruin the ambiance of the neighborhood and we tried to fashion it into what appears to be a beautiful old home," Dennis said. Dennis himself was the general contractor on the project, his fifth such endeavor, although he gives a lot of credit to Steve Aubrey Construction "whose crew did a fantastic job framing and finish- ing." They designed their dream home from house plans and pho- tograp, hs of Victorian homes. The crowning glory, from whence the Sea Witch got her name, is the peaked turret, known in architec- tural circles as a "witch's hat", ensconced in a coat of copper. "We also have to mention the roofer, Boz Widdoes, who accom- plished the feat of placing that copper on the turret," they said. Joan decided, after much discus- sion with Dennis and the invalu- able assistance of Rose Benjamin at Shinn's Paints, on Weathersby green, burgundy and dark peach as the colors with which to set off the finely crafted korbels and other gingerbread detailing. -,, The Santanginis are busy focus- ing on the landscaping, ready to plant an herb garden out back near the outside shower and managed to salvage a rose bush which they transplanted to one side of the house. (The other side is devoted primarily to off-street parking ahd guest entrance from the grand porch that sweeps from one end of Trish Vernon photo Joan and Dennis Santangini stand on the porch of their new Rehoboth Beach bed and break- fast, The Sea Witch Manor on Lake Avenue, so-named because of the peaked turret topped in copper. They will open their doors to guests by Memorial Day weekend. Lake Avenue to the other.) Joan has been busy putting the. finishing touches on the interior since January Of this year, and the Victorian theme is carried throughout the house. As one enters the front door, one is greet- ed by a doll dressed in a wedding dress fashioned by her sister Carol from material, lace and pearls ing antique couches reupholstered. from Joan's Own: dress, Ong':S White lace curtains hang from the eyes are drawn upwd by the 'bay windows which are graced by Chandelier and Swge-PJng staircase iferns evocmive,0f theVitorian leading to tfpstairs guest era. (At the moment the Safttangi: rooms. # nis are discussing the virtues of tucking television set some- Tds to the parlor, a wusy hanging repro- where in the parlor to give their d masten and hay- Continued on page 68