All in the family, sister buys her sister’s business
by Jack Deming
Jan 03, 2013 | 3375 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WILMINGTON- After 18 years of managing the Wilmington Village Pub, Virginia “Ginny” Blake, of Wilmington, can call herself something new: owner. Blake’s sister, Mary Jane Finnegan, who has owned 7 South Main Street and the Village Pub since 1984, is retiring, and handed over the reins of the pub’s ownership on November 13, 2012.

According to Blake, new ownership doesn’t mean a new bar. “This is a place where everybody knows each other, and there’s no reason to fix something that isn’t broken.”

Along with its trademark homey interior complete with fireplace, the Village Pub will continue to feature its nightly specials, which include free pool on Mondays, free jukebox Tuesdays, and a customer favorite, Friday night karaoke. Blake also wants to bring back an open mic night, which disappeared as the year got busier.

Blake also cooks year round, selling a variety of soups, stews, meatloaf, and sandwiches during the winter, and opens the back deck overlooking the Deerfield River for barbecued hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken during the summer. The pub also has seven taps with a collection of craft beers to accompany an assortment of bottles.

According to Blake, the pub’s customers include a collection of out-of-state visitors and locals, and winter storms brings them together. “It’s a local bar, and I’m so grateful for the locals who have become my good friends over the past 22 years,” said Blake. “We have a lot of people from out of state that have become regulars, here, too and they come here when they’re in town to ski so, over time, our Wilmington regulars have gotten to know the out-of-staters and they all meet up here.”

Blake attributes the continued success of the pub to her staff of four, as well as a community that came together to help clean up and repair the business in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. The pub was closed for only two months after the community, customers, and Blake’s family came together to make the recovery go swiftly. The basement bar was destroyed however, along with a baby grand piano in what was the jazz club, as well as furniture, food supplies, and all dry goods.

The pub will continue to be a place for people to meet, according to Blake, who met her husband Dave at the Village Pub 21 years ago.

“The past 22 years of work here have been fun and my family supports me 100%,” said Blake. “I really have an amazing staff here, they’re my second family, and they are always here for me.”
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January 12, 2013
congratulations VB wishing you great success hope you stay high and dry and never see another hurricane in the mountains.vb