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Bid in for Ram’s Head? Virginia group has plans

The Ram’s Head Inn.

When landscape architect Susanna Herrmann outlined plans for major renovations to the Ram’s Head Inn at an April Planning Board meeting, co-owner Linda Eklund said that for the near future, she and husband James Eklund would continue to run the iconic inn.

What she and others didn’t say was the applicant of record for the plans was Easton Porter Group of  North Garden, Virginia.

Asked if Easton Porter is slated to be the new owner of the property, a spokesperson for the firm, Curry Uflacker, said no comment, but added, “We do believe in Ram’s Head and Shelter Island as a unique destination and [in] the ability to invest and take the Inn to the next level.”

In an email response after seeing the original story on the Reporter website, Ms. Eklund said, if plans work out as hoped, she and James would continue at the inn in collaboration with Easton Porter.
“You can see why we are very excited for the inn, the neighbors and the island,” Ms. Eklund said.

Easton Porter runs high end hotels and restaurants in Virginia and South Carolina, specializing in weddings and other special events, something that’s been true of the Ram’s Head during the Eklunds’ tenure.

Ms. Herrmann told the Planning Board in April she was requesting major renovations to modernize the inn while keeping its natural charm intact. Plans call for retaining 22 guest rooms, but moving most out of the main building and relocating them to cottages to be constructed on the property. A new septic system is planned to serve the renovated property.

The tennis court is to be replaced by a swimming pool and there will be more on site parking.

What’s known is that if approvals are in place in time, the aim would be to start construction in October. Besides approvals from the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services must act on applications affecting the revised septic system and its distance from a well on the property.

Planners decided Tuesday night to invite Ms. Herrmann back at the June 12 meeting for a pre-submission conference.