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The Next Chapter

Two hundred years of history provide the backdrop for a bespoke inn and speakeasy.

From 1920 to 1933, the manufacture, possession, sale, transportation and consumption of alcohol was illegal during what has now become commonly referred to as Prohibition. However, as is the nature of most humans, given an obstacle, someone will figure a way around it. Thus, the concept of a “Speakeasy” was born—an establishment serving and selling alcoholic beverages, whose name was derived from the hushed suggestion from proprietors and patrons to speak quietly, and in an easy tone when talking and sharing recommendations of their experiences at such enterprises, so as not to be discovered by the authorities.

Photo provided by Baxter Hospitality

Like most good secrets the Chapter House in Yarmouth Port has been recently discovered and shared among those in the know, and those wanting to know. Phil and Silva Baxter have officially re-opened the historic inn with roots that date as far back as 1716. The august property has undergone an impressive renovation of the Main House, the Carriage House and two acres of sprawling grounds. 

The Baxters, principals of Baxter Hospitality, are no strangers to the business of welcoming guests and providing world-class accommodations. They acquired the property in 2021, and are now poised to launch their first official first season of business. When asked how they decided on the unique name of Chapter House, Phil explains it pays homage to a local bar near Cornell University, where he majored in their renown hospitality program. “The definition of a chapter house is a place where a college fraternity or sorority meet. I thought the name fit the concept because of the strong sense of community, shared experience, and stories, both old and new. It speaks of a sense of belonging that is so critical in hospitality. There’s…

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