The Pridwin Hotel will be honored as the “Business of the Year” by the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce at its annual dinner on Friday, May 3.
The dinner, at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, will also feature a presentation called “Wine Making on Long Island,” by wine maker Charles Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards.
“We’re very excited that the Pridwin has agreed to accept the award,” Chamber President Art Williams said. “Last year’s dinner was a great success and we’re hopeful this one will be as well.”
The Queens Company Ltd., an English firm, began construction of the Pridwin in 1924, but ran out of funds to complete the building. Francis Myers, the builder on the project, took over the hotel and had the construction completed by 1927, when the ribbon was cut.
This solid construction has kept the hotel going for over 90 years; Mr. Myers was also responsible for several other Island buildings that have stood the test of time, including the American Legion Hall.
The appearance of the all-wood hotel has changed little over the years. The main alteration, decades ago, was enclosing a porch on the second floor running the length of the building. Today, that space holds the restaurant and hosts several weddings each year, overlooking the beautiful view of Crescent Beach.
The current family owning and operating the Pridwin are the Petrys.
A couple named Frederick and Mildred Frost had been vacationing at the hotel since the 1930s. In the summer of 1961, they learned that the Pridwin was for sale and persuaded their daughter Edie and son-in-law Dick Petry to buy it. To this day, more than 50 years later, Gregg and Glenn Petry carry on the family tradition.
“My best memories of the hotel are the Wednesday night barbecues, when we can have 2oo-300 people on the lawn on a perfect summer evening, with the sailing regatta passing by out front, as well as the barbecues we hold for the fireworks,” Glenn Petry said. “They’ve become an Island tradition. My brother and I want to continue our parents’ commitment to integrating the hotel into the fabric of the community.”
While giving the hotel a fresh, clean face to greet its guests each summer, the owners have meticulously retained the relaxed but genteel atmosphere the Pridwin has offered since its early days.
Because the original builders were British, and the legend of King Arthur was very popular at the time, they gave the hotel the name Pridwin, which was the name of King Arthur’s shield; it translates to “pride in winning,” which seems appropriate as the owners accept the Chamber’s 2019 award.
The dinner is not a fundraiser; the $100 ticket price covers costs. In addition to an open bar with appetizers and a four-course meal, the evening includes wine tastings from Paumanok and Palmer Vineyards. Tickets may still be purchased by visiting shelterislandchamber.org and clicking on “Events.”