Opening Weekend, and a Q&A with the Owner

A grand opening weekend and a Q&A with Rob Henry, owner and manager of 620 Prince.

It’s a Saturday afternoon in Georgetown. The cloudless, azure sky and seasonal gourds adorning every front porch indicate that Autumn is officially underway, though you’d never know it from the 80-degree temperatures.

But unlike most fall weekends in the South, there are no football games or oyster roasts on the agenda. This weekend is devoted to another lowcountry sacrament: the Wooden Boat Show, an event that draws thousands of visitors to Georgetown every October. Front Street is packed with wooden boat builders and maritime exhibitors from across the Southeast, with their skills – or wares – proudly on display. The local docks are at full capacity, and the Sampit river is alive with sailors and captains, young and old.

This is a special weekend for another reason, too.  It’s the grand opening of 620 Prince: a milestone that the inn’s owner, Rob Henry, has been anticipating for the better part of the year. Months of hard labor, renovations, red tape, white paint, furniture buying and interior designing have finally culminated in a vision of grandeur. If you haven’t already, check out the photos.

I’m sitting on a plush, emerald-green, velvet couch in the inn’s front parlor, enjoying a cocktail with Rob and his mother, Jeanne (who – it must be said – played a major role in the restoration of the house), Rob’s fiancé, Rachael (who has undoubtedly been a crucial source of moral support throughout the process) and his youngest sister Martha (whom you can thank for documenting the journey on Instagram and Facebook). I’ve known the Henry family since I was a child, and it’s been amazing to witness them work together on this project and see it to fruition. And while I can’t take credit for the elegance or refinement that surrounds me at this moment, I can certainly enjoy a cold drink in a beautiful room with old friends.

The inn’s guests are mingling throughout the common areas of the house, enjoying the fully stocked bar and a spread of Rob’s homemade pimento cheese and ham biscuits. There’s also an impressive assortment of charcuterie, which no one has touched, perhaps because it’s too pretty to disturb.

As the parlor fills up with friends and the merriment ensues, someone suggests we do a “Q&A with Rob” for the blog, so potential visitors can get a glimpse of his personality. Being a good sport, Rob agrees to play along, and we start firing off questions left and right. In true Rob fashion, some of his answers are a little too bawdy for public consumption, but I manage to document some of the more innocuous responses.

Keep reading the Q&A that was conceived during the inn’s inaugural weekend…and then head over here to book a room so that you experience 620 Prince for yourself!

Q&A with Rob Henry

Q: Go-to cocktail?
A: Vodka water: crushed ice, 2 oz. pour, short glass and a splash of water from the nearest source. Squeeze a wedge of lemon in and stir. It was my grandmother’s drink of choice, and a much more manageable hangover when you don’t mix with sugar!

Q: What’s the worst purchase you ever made?
A: It was a QVC car washing kit that broke within the first minutes of use. I’m a neat freak so keeping things clean and organized is my m.o. I also love to vacuum – when trick-or-treating as a child, I would often ask people where their vacuum was located. I could care less about the candy…I wanted to know what kind of equipment they were working with on their rugs!

Q: Favorite holiday, and why?
A: Thanksgiving, because it involves good food, good company, no gifts, and I get to drink beer and fry turkey at 8am in my underwear. The weather in SC is perfect for it. We always have a whiffle ball tournament after we eat. It’s guys vs. girls and it gets extremely competitive.

Q: How did you name the rooms in the inn?
A: Each room is named after one of my family members.

Q: Favorite piece of furniture in the inn?
A: My grandmother’s dining room table. It brought tears to my eyes seeing it come through the front door. I figured she would either be proud of me for embarking on this journey or wondering “Why the hell are you letting strangers eat off my table?!”

Q: Favorite piece of art?
A: A painting by Claire Younts (a family friend) of a face and a W.B. Yeats poem excerpt that hangs in the cottage. It’s stunning! Undoubtedly a reason to book the cottage and see it!

Q: What’s one inanimate object you can’t live without?
A: Ice.

Q: What’s something you wish you could do, but can’t?
A: Fly (or pick my nose without my fiancé getting on my case).

Q: How did you meet your fiancé?
A: We met through mutual friends in our Friday night supper club. It was only supposed to occur every few weeks, but I wanted to cook dinner for those yahoos every night just so I could have Rachael come to my house!

This or that:

Bojangles or Chic-fil-a?
Sunrise or sunset?
Instagram or Snapchat?
Beach or pool?
Pop tart or Toaster Strudel?
Fries or onion rings?
Fries (Unless we’re talking about those very thin and crispy onion rings…it’d be a tough call at that point)
Duke’s or Hellmans?