Since opening the business in 2014, Sweet Lemon Inn & Kitchen owners Kevin and Rachel Cummins have kept busy expanding the business to include catering and preparing to open a cafe later this year, Rachel said.
The couple bought the historic property at 812 S. Church St. in 2013 and opened the inn in the building’s second story. The building's location made it a good spot for an in because of its proximity to the downtown district, Kevin said.
“[Guests can] walk to anything—walk to food, walk to shopping, walk to the wineries,” Kevin said. “People love that.”
The owners renovated and decorated the guest rooms—with the help of Misty Adair of Spark Interior Style and Amy Vanderford of Divine Patina Paint—while Rachel was in culinary school, she said.
In March 2014 the first guests visited to the inn, which offers three guest rooms, two bathrooms, a shared living space and kitchenette as well as a shaded balcony.
“We thought it would be a fun fit for this area, especially downtown Georgetown,” Rachel said. “It’s a much better use of the space than say, offices, which is what it was kind of set up for.”
Lodging on or near the Square had been limited since the Inn on the Square closed in 2004, said Shelly Hargrove, city of Georgetown Main Street Program manager.
“We would love a lot more lodging in the downtown [district], especially if it’s using under-utilized second floors of downtown commercial buildings,” Hargrove said.
“We love Sweet Lemon Inn,” she said. “I wish I could triplicate it.”
The house was built in 1918, and the second floor was added in 1923. The property served as a residence until it was zoned for commercial use in the 1990s. Since then the property has seen a variety of businesses that have come and gone, Hargrove said.
“The Cumminses have put such care into the building and [have] really done a great job of giving it new life,” she said.
After Rachel’s graduation from Escoffier Culinary School in August, Sweet Lemon began offering catering services for local events. Rachel said she serves locally sourced, seasonal, organic and made-from-scratch selections whenever possible.
However, since the couple purchased the property it has been their goal to open a cafe on-site, Rachel said.
The cafe’s construction will be partially dependent on the city’s permitting process as well as Kevin’s full-time job that often takes him out of town, she said.
Once opened the cafe will serve breakfast, lunch and brunch on the weekends. The owners said renovation plans include modifications to open up the available interior space and add a deck for outdoor seating.
The space will also be available for special events in the evenings.
“We have lots of fun ideas [for Sweet Lemon Inn],” Rachel said.