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A Renovated Waverly Inn

Historic Cheshire Restaurant Reopens Under New Ownership

When they ventured out for lunch, Mildred and Fred Adams decided to see if rumors of the Waverly Inn reopening were true. They were soon sitting at its familiar wooden bar, enjoying a meal and reminiscing about the historic Cheshire site on its opening day.

 "We spent a lot of time over here," said Mildred Adams, who grew up in Wallingford and remembers attending Lyman Hall High School proms at the Waverly during the big band era.

"This was the place," agreed her husband, Fred.

Restaurateur August Cipully hopes the Waverly Inn will be "the place" again.

"I love this place," Cipully said, handling hectic opening day duties at a table covered in fresh white linen. Cipully also owns Cheshire's Victorian House Restaurant & Tavern  and K.T. Baxter's in Wallingford. "The first time I ever came here was when I moved to Cheshire in 1999. I came here to celebrate, never knowing I'd own the Vic House or this one. That's the way things happen."

Cipully's interest grew after a previous incarnation, The Waverly Tavern, closed in February 2011, leaving Cheshire without a facility large enough to accommodate much more than a small gathering. "There was no room for even a bereavement party, birthday party, or anniversary," Cipully observed. "We don't have the room at the Vic House and this is the only one that has a banquet hall in the back. I thought there was an opportunity and I just thought we should have it in Cheshire. People are going to Southington and Wallingford. We should have our own in Cheshire. I seized the moment, the opportunity."

The new business will be known as the Waverly Inn, the name used during most of the site's history after its modest beginnings as a pool hall called The Casino. Since the early 1900's, various Waverly Inns on the Maple Avenue property have survived fires, bankruptcy, divorce settlement, and subdivision of a grand ballroom to accommodate small offices and a bank. After an inaugural 50th wedding anniversary event for 110 people, the new restaurant officially opened on November 17.

"Everything is different," Cipully said. "The food is different, the ambience is different. It's going to be steaks, chops, a little bit of Italian fusion, oysters, clams, things of that nature."

The mood in the renovated dining room has taken an intimate turn with upscale décor and muted fashionable appointments. The tiled bar and physical layout of the rest of the Waverly, however, remain unchanged. "It's the same booths, same deep woods, nice atmosphere," Cipully said.

A walk through the kitchen revealed less obvious improvements, like a newly epoxied floor meant to eliminate water problems that plagued the lower level of the building in the past. Newly designed rest rooms also reflect the Waverly's evolution.

The reopening will return 25 to 30 employees to the local workforce. The staff already includes chef Edward DeCrosta, nutritionist Laura Chionchio, and Fran Solevo, a lifelong veteran of familiar local kitchens like F.J Soleo's Restaurant on Forbes Avenue in New Haven and the bygone Antonio's in East Haven.

            "It's a very positive thing," said Sheldon Dill, President of the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce. "The Waverly has a long and rich tradition in the community. Especially with the economy the way it is, the work that August did will have a positive effect."

The Waverly Inn, 286 Maple Avenue, Cheshire. (203) 272-2441

Betsy December 04, 2011 at 03:52 AM
This is such a great article. Sights, sounds and smells seem to jump from the page. Glad it has reopened.
Tara January 04, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I am a frequent customer at Waverly Inn since Augie renovated it and I love it! it has such a warm feel and the food is amazing! I highly recommend it!
pat January 04, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I hope the Waverly will return to/continue to serve upscale American food. I am tired of the options out there - all the other cultures promoting their national cuisines. A little of that goes a long way with me.
Joan Post Solevo January 05, 2012 at 02:24 AM
food is outstanding meals from your Italian Grand parents (brascioli, spa crabs ponne cotta to American bu rgers etc. Good luck and welcome back
Cathy Vellucci January 27, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I can't wait to try it! Best of luck.
Debbie Saray January 30, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Can't wait to visit the new Waverly Inn, Best of luck to Ted DeCrosta one of the best Chefs anywhere, Waverly Inn is very lucky to have him.
Kerry January 31, 2012 at 11:31 PM
This place does everything right. Every drink, app, meal and dessert is delicious. Agreeing with me is a co-worker of mine who went with a group of 20 ppl and everyone raved about it - all 20! Great job on the renovations and the hiring of a great staff. This kitchen is state of the art and the chefs are rockin out some awesome fares. Check this place out, won't be disappointed. And please don't get confused with the old Wavery Tavern, Waverly Inn is in a class by itself. Cheshire is a better place for having a restaurant like this and a man like Auggie Cipully for having the wherewithal to take it on.

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