The Recorder – Bed and breakfast being revived on Graves Street in South Deerfield

Published: 5/19/2022 6:19:43 PM

Modified: 5/19/2022 6:17:58 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — After running a bed and breakfast for several years on River Road, two South Deerfield residents are foraying into the hospitality business again with plans to open a new bed and breakfast in their home.

Tucked away at 60 Graves St., Bela Breslau and Stephen Billias are preparing to welcome visitors from around the world to Bela’s B&B, which the couple hopes to open in June. Both Breslau and Billias are “semi-retired” and have taken up writing in their free time. With the bed and breakfast business, Breslau said they hope to bring a little additional income and human interaction into their lives.

“It’s a little bit different now because Airbnbs have been popping up everywhere,” Breslau said of her latest entrance into the bed-and-breakfast business. “We’re writers. We’re isolated working together in the office all the time and having more contact with people is fun.”

This is the second iteration of Bela’s B&B, as Breslau and Billias operated the bed and breakfast on River Road for several years alongside a Shintaido business, which offered a combination of martial arts and body movement meant to benefit the body, mind and spirit.

Breslau’s mother-in-law was staying at their home, but when she died in February, Breslau started thinking about what they wanted to do with the space.

“I’m still adjusting to not having my mother-in-law,” she said. “I think this will be a good use of the space.”

Breslau said the home, which is all on one floor because it was built by someone who was wheelchair-bound, is a “self-contained,” accessible space for people to spend a weekend in South Deerfield. The room that will be rented out has its own entrance, which can help ease people’s concerns about COVID-19.

“I’ve always kind of wanted to use that space. It’s kind of perfect for it,” Breslau said. “In COVID times, we personally liked going to places where we had our own entrance and didn’t have to share the space. … I think it will be very safe.”

Breslau said she expects steady business, especially around graduation and move-in periods for the various private schools in Deerfield. When the bed and breakfast was open on River Road, she hosted families from around the world, which was one of her favorite parts.

“I met a lot of really fascinating people,” Breslau said. “In the whole time I did it…I never had a problem.”

Breslau received tentative approval from the Deerfield Zoning Board of Appeals on May 12, and the board will review the conditions and permit at its next meeting before signing it. Conditions include a maximum capacity of four people, Board of Health compliance and the permit goes with Breslau and her husband, not the property.

Wroclaw doesn’t have a specific opening date yet because she needs to tidy up some additional business details and wait for the final permit approval, but she is aiming for a June opening. She hasn’t decided on a rental rate yet, but is thinking around $185 a day. To book a room when the bed and breakfast is open, email [email protected]

Chris Larabee can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4081.

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