GEORGETOWN — An era with roots in the town of Georgetown and in Sussex County history came to an end last weekend.
Ed and Lynn Lester, owners of The Brick Hotel, celebrated their retirement from the hospitality industry with a last gathering of friends and loyal customers Saturday.
Mr. and Ms. Lester shut the doors to The Brick on Sunday. The property, which dates to the mid-19th century, will be repurposed and leased as the Delaware Department of Justice’s Sussex County office, effective Oct. 1. The DOJ’s office is currently located at nearby 114 E. Market St.
“It’s a bittersweet celebration for sure,” said Ms. Lester in a prepared statement. “But the timing is right, and Ed and I are totally ready to enjoy full retirement and more quality time with our family and friends.”
Mr. and Ms. Lester will continue to own the property. The state has a seven-year lease.
Among those at the Saturday event were inn guests and restaurant patrons who have been long supporters of the Lesters’ efforts to offer quality dining and lodging at the historic building on The Circle.
Previous and current Brick staff were also on hand for the celebration.
“There are people here tonight who have been with us since we opened our doors in 2008,” said Ms. Lester. “There are inn guests who have called The Brick ‘home’ during their regular visits to town over the past decade. There are people whose faces we could always count on seeing in the restaurant on a regular basis. These are the people who have truly blessed us with the opportunity to do what we’ve been doing for the past 12 years, and tonight’s party is our way of thanking them for their unwavering loyalty and support.”
The contents of The Brick Hotel and The Counting House Restaurant & Pub, which opened in August 2018, will be sold via online auction, managed by Reagan-Watson Auctions. For more information about viewing the items up for sale in person, visit the Reagan-Watson website.
The iconic structure in the circular heart of Georgetown dates to 1836. According to history, it was built by Joshua S. Layton and Caleb B. Sipple, who also constructed the Sussex County Courthouse across The Circle.
The Brick, which was known as the Union Hotel during the Civil War era, operated as an inn for more than 100 years. It also served other purposes, including as a bank, a post office and a temporary courthouse while a new judicial facility was being constructed.
For Sussex County’s unique Return Day celebration in general-election years, The Brick Hotel and its balcony was a popular viewing venue for festivities and the gala parade on The Circle.