It turns out that a beautiful garden really can speak to one’s soul. In fact, the next door neighbor’s garden spoke so loudly to Darci Congrove and her husband John Pribble, that they decided to buy it, and the small house that came with it, in the fall of 2004. The purchase sprouted the creation of the German Village Guest House, a now, five bedroom boutique hotel that continues to receive local and national accolades.
“I loved that garden,” grins Congrove. “The house was on the market for a while and we couldn’t stand the idea of it potentially being destroyed to make way for an addition to the house. We knew we wanted the garden for ourselves but struggled to figure out what to do with the house.” Congrove initially suggested a bed & breakfast but it took some time for that idea to grow on Pribble. Eventually, they collaborated on a concept to put a fresh, modern twist on the traditional bed & breakfast idea and the German Village Guest House took root.
It opened in 2005 after the couple gutted the home and re-purposed the space with three bedrooms, all with private baths, and one small common area. The home’s original architectural details were retained however mid-century modern décor and amenities like WiFi and flat screen TVs replaced the interior. Fresh cut flowers, fresh fruit and juices, home-baked pastries, organic teas and locally roasted coffees were added as staples for guests. Within two years, success prompted the couple to expand their operation to a home on Whittier Street where two similarly well-appointed guest suites were introduced.
This business-savvy couple’s fervor doesn’t end with garden-loving and hospitality know-how. They are passionate about historic preservation. In 2010, Congrove was the President of the German Village Society and started searching for ways to fund a comprehensive signage program for German Village. “We have such a rich story to tell and signage that makes it easy to navigate the Village and learn more about our history and preservation efforts is essential,” states Congrove. “We designed TEA 43206 as a signature event to support this and other historic preservation-specific projects.”
Inspired by a similar event in Connecticut, TEA 43206 is a chic garden party complete with festive hats, a silent auction, champagne, savory hors d’oeuvres and pastries, and teas, of course. The event takes place the third Saturday in August and the setting is none other than the German Village Guest House garden. It’s clear that TEA 43206 provides a platform that integrates Congrove’s many talents and passions. “The energy from last year’s event seems to have ignited an enthusiasm for this year’s – everything is coming together perfectly. I’ve never had so much fun putting together an event!”
TEA 43206 takes place this year on Saturday, August 18th from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at the German Village Guest House at 748 Jaeger Street in German Village. Tickets are $50 for German Village Society members and $60 for non-members and are available at the German Village Meeting Haus – 588 S Third St, Columbus 43215 or online at GermanVillage.com.
Katzinger’s Deli in German Village has always been known for its fine selections of breads, meats, and cheeses. In fact, they’ve garnered national acclaim for their classic take on Jewish fare, and many make pilgrimages (or at least go out of their way) to ensure a stop at Katzinger’s.
The members of the German Village Society serve as Caretakers of A Legacy, dedicated to retaining the character and distinction of the past, while creating a thriving and contemporary community in German Village.