PaperCity Magazine

March 2016 - Houston

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JENNY ANTILL CLIFTON Susanne Maida The dining room at Round Top Inn BY ANNE LEE PHILLIPS BLOCK PARTY ROUND In December, the adjacent property on the block, the Hotel St. Vinzent and Prost Wine Bar & Patio, came up for sale, and Maida seized the opportunity to reunite historic Block 29. The acquisition increases Round Top Inn's room total to 13 and further adds to the entrepreneurial history of the venue. Maida, a wine lover, was happy to provide a gathering place for Round Top locals and visitors to relax over a glass of fine vino. Besides, she says, "Who wouldn't want that cute stone building?" The charming structure that houses Prost was formerly used to construct pipe organs — the Lutheran church in town still uses an organ constructed there. Regarding the operation of Prost, Maida says, "We'll continue with regular weekend hours, and we'll also have more flexibility for the unique events we offer our guests, things like wine tastings, guest chef dinners and fund-raisers." Round Top Inn on Block 29 now composes a full acre, and its location in town is just a short stroll from shopping, galleries and restaurants. Each guest room at the inn has been outfitted with a mix of antiques and modern conveniences. Let's be honest: Even on country weekends we want our coffeemakers, satellite TV and Wi-Fi. Round Top Inn, 407 S. White St., Round Top, 979.249.5294,, from $160 per night; Prost! Wine Bar & Patio, 112 Bauer Rummel Road, Round Top, 979.249.5981. I n the spring of 2014, Susanne Maida — yes, of those Maidas (her husband, James, hails from the legendary leather belt and bootmaking family) — was looking for a weekend country property for her family to getaway from their in-town residence in Piney Point, when she stumbled upon Round Top Inn, available for sale. Out of curiosity, she toured the historic buildings and grounds. Afterwards, Maida says, "Something just for fun turned into 'have to have.' My husband agreed that I could become an innkeeper as long as I could find someone to run things, and I thank God every day that I found the team I have." Maida had been focused on being a mom to three, who are now older, and prior to that, she owned Houston Invitation Service. She snapped up the historic buildings that comprise the inn: an 1885 two-story farmhouse with three guest suites, and four cottages. Thus began her career as an innkeeper — or "caretaker," as she likes to call it, of a place with such a storied history of Texas craftsmen, farmers, civic leaders and entrepreneurs. Three of the buildings were constructed by German immigrant Charles Schiege in the 1880s; one of which served as the Schiege Cigar Factory for nearly 50 years. TOP Cozy guest room at the Inn Prost Wine Bar & Patio Round Top Inn The former Hotel St. Vinzent, now part of Round Top Inn JENNY ANTILL CLIFTON

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