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Brown Hotel undergoing renovation

by on July 14, 2013 3:00 AM

Two sisters are hoping to “bring the heartbeat and soul back” to The Brown Hotel after recently purchasing the Indiana landmark from the Trimarchi family.

Co-owners Patricia and Mary Ellen Hurd took over operations at The Brown on May 31 and immediately began with improvements, they said.

Patricia, of Brush Valley, and Mary Ellen, now of Indiana and formerly of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, are “thrilled to be given the opportunity to give Indiana back its Brown,” Patricia said.

Along with Mary Ellen’s son, Robert Coyne, the sisters have given The Brown an extensive cleaning, as well as added a big-screen TV and replaced all the draft lines in the bar.

Coyne will be in charge of the building’s restoration.

And happy hour has returned from 4 to 7 p.m.

Another goal is to re-establish the music scene.

The sisters are working with Sean Howard as entertainment coordinator and said they want to provide live music every weekend.

“The Brown used to be the top spot for music,” Patricia said. “We want to get back there again.”

Food is not yet available at The Brown, but a limited menu will be incorporated to start. During Happy Hour, pretzels and a special house dip are offered for free.

Long-term plans include a farm-to-table restaurant, with a possible opening in the spring. Mary Ellen has a lifetime of restaurant experience.

The concept, which includes the use of fresh, local foods, is not prevalent in this area, Patricia said.

“I think Indiana is ready for it,” she said.

The kitchen will need renovated first.

Eventually, the sisters want to take the building from a residential hotel to a nightly hotel with a 19th century theme. This will require extensive renovations, they said.

Currently there are 18 rooms, most filled with renters.

For now, hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“Our goal is to bring Indiana its Brown back,” Patricia said. “It has a rich, beautiful history.”

Margaret Weaver has served as a Gazette staff writer since 2006. She covers Clymer Borough, the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District and Blairsville court, and also works in the areas of layout, design and editing. She can be reached at
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