Downtown Strasburg may get a bed and breakfast

There are plans underway to bring a new bed and breakfast to Strasburg. The only thing in the way is the town’s development ordinance.

Armand and Lauren Mancini are closing on the Crabill House, a historic four-bedroom building at 112 E. King St. in downtown Strasburg. They are hoping to turn it into a bed and breakfest, which their daughter, Cameron, will run.

But bed and breakfasts are not permitted in that particular location under the Strasburg Unified Development Ordinance. With a potential vote in the Strasburg Town Council, that is likely to change.

“I think [the Strasburg Town Council members] are doing whatever they need in the process to do,” Armand Mancini said.

On Tuesday, the town Planning Commission is going to be looking at changing the development ordinance in order to allow bed and breakfasts to be built in the downtown district. The Planning Commission will also be looking at a number of other proposed changes to the ordinance code, according to Wyatt Pearson, the town manager.

These changes, Pearson said, are the result of finding flaws in the 321-page regulatory document.

“This is just one more misstep” that was made in the Strasburg Unified Development Ordinance when it passed in 2014, Pearson said.

The provision to allow the Mancinis to operate a bed and breakfast in the Crabill House has passed its first hurdle. At a work session on May 15, Strasburg Town Council members unanimously decided to move the planned change in the development ordinance forward to a vote with the Planning Commission.

After the Planning Commission’s vote, it will go forward to a vote with the Strasburg Town Council.

Armand Mancini believes the Strasburg Town Council will vote in favor of the change to the ordinance. But if it doesn’t, he said, he plans on renting the space out, something that is allowed under the ordinance.

Armand Mancini said he plans on opening the bed and breakfast at the beginning of July. In the beginning, they will only be open in the weekend, although  Mancini said they eventually plan on being open seven days a week.

Cameron Mancini, daughter of Armand and Lauren,  said  the location, close to Interstate 81, makes the location good for a bed and breakfast. The style of the house — it is a large brick house that dates its history back to the early 1800s — also appeals to her.

“The exterior is very charming,” Cameron Mancini said. “It’s just got a lot of character.”

It was the historic nature, in part, that appealed to Armand Mancini. He said that Confederate soldiers carved graffiti onto the walls of the building.

“It’s just a gem of a relic,” he said.

The food at the bed and breakfast will be cooked by D.Q. Baxter, who is a chef at a café in Woodstock. Armand Mancini advertised the food as a potential highlight at the bed and breakfast.

“[Baxter] is quite an accomplished chef,” Armand Mancini said. “This guy does braised ribs and duck and this, that and the other.”

Megan Mangold, who is Baxter’s girlfriend and who will do inn-keeping work at the bed and breakfast, said the food will often be fresh and local. Baxter plans on using herbs from his and Mangold’s herb garden and some produce from Armand and Lauren Mancini’s garden.

Contact staff writer Max Lee at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or mlee@nvdaily.com

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