Planet Princeton

Peacock Inn sold to real estate company that owns Washington Crossing Inn

The Peacock Inn, a 16-room luxury hotel on Bayard Lane in downtown Princeton, has been sold to Genesis Investment Properties, a Hamilton-based commercial retail and residential real estate investment company.

Genesis also owns and operates the historic Washington Crossing Inn located in Washington Crossing, Pa.

In January, the restaurant and bar at the Peacock Inn were closed, a move that shocked and saddened area residents. The restaurant and bar are slated to reopen near the end of May in time for reunions and graduation at Princeton University.

The Peacock Inn dates back to the 1700s, when it was built on the corner of Main Street and Railroad Avenue, now Nassau Street and University Place. Jonathan Deare, a member of the Continental Congress, purchased the property from Thomas Stockton in 1779. The Peacock Inn was moved to its present location on Bayard Lane in 1875, when it was purchased by the Princeton Hotel Company. The Peacock Inn was opened in 1911 by Joseph and Helen O’Connor, who purchased the property and named it after an inn in Midland England. In 2006, The Peacock Inn was purchased by Barry and Elaine Sussman, and underwent a three-and-a-half-year renovation. It was reopened in 2010.

Scott Sussman, the hotel and marketing director for the Peacock Inn, said when the restaurant and bar were closed in January, a search was conducted for another business to operate a restaurant at the hotel. A few companies wanted to buy the hotel, and the owners chose Genesis.

“It’s been wonderful to be a part of Princeton these last several years,” Sussman said of his family’s time operating the hotel. “It will be exciting to see what the new ownership can do with the Peacock Inn.”

Sussman said the restaurant will offer brunch, lunch, dinner, and tea time menus.

Michael Gale, vice president of acquisitions for Genesis, told officials at a meeting on Monday night that he needs help figuring out a solution to parking issues at the Peacock Inn.

“I’ve had limited success working out the needs of the Peacock Inn. As you know, it’s challenged because of its location. It’s just outside of the central business district. ” Gale said. “We don’t really have the luxury of having a garage to park in that is reasonably close to the inn. We are struggling with how to find options to make it work, because we’re going to be opening the restaurant again hopefully at the end of this month, so we are going to have restaurant guests… we are going to continue to have hotel guests, and of course we have employees.  Now that the restaurant is going to be opened the number of employees is going to increase.”

Gale said he realizes the hotel is in a difficult position, being located next to a residential neighborhood, and that he understands the needs of residents in the neighborhood to protect their privacy.

“At the same time, we are trying to find balance and ways to work that out,” he said, adding that the he has had limited success working with YWCA and the town engineer . “What we’ve gotten so far is a partial solution. We are looking something more permanent.”

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Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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