Nolan family enjoys running the Back Narrows Inn; Divide restaurant gets liquor license

In the late 1800s, the old hotel on Grand Avenue in Norwood was originally called the Western Hotel. Later, it the 1900s, it became the Back Narrows Inn.

In 2014, though, Logan Tease came to town and bought the place. He spruced it up and named it the Hotel Norwood. After putting some much-needed basic work into the property, Tease had wanted to let it go to someone who could really take ownership of the hotel business aspect.

In the last year, new owners Jerry and Patty Nolan have re-established the place and given it the old name, the Back Narrows Inn.

The Back Narrows Inn features 18 rooms total, but has five apartment spaces for longer-term occupancy too. Now, Scott Romaine is offering the town a new restaurant option through the hotel.

The Nolans, who have family in the Norwood area, said they saw real historical value in the hotel property. They wanted to save and restore the place. Since September, they spent the fall season of 2017 cleaning it, updating certain parts and getting the commercial kitchen ready.

In the old days, the Back Narrows Inn had a restaurant, but it had not been used in years. With much work that included the recent retrofitting and renovation, Romaine has re-established the restaurant, what is now called the Divide. (Romaine formerly ran the Lone Cone Bar and Restaurant.)

The restaurant has been open the last few months, and now Romaine has obtained a liquor license — something he said will only help the business there at the Divide.

Nolan said he never wanted to make big structural changes to the Back Narrows Inn. Instead, he has done smaller things for improvements — like work on the fencing, paint and interior touches. He has also worked by doing some landscaping and tree-trimming around the building. Still, he said the family is continuing to improve the old hotel. At the same time, many of the old antiques, like the old stoves and the cash register, remain in the lobby and elsewhere.

“We are still doing some work on it, and we will continue to improve it,” he said. “We will keep fixing rooms better and do more work on the hotel itself and the patio for the summertime.”

The Divide restaurant will offer outdoor seating this spring and summer as weather permits.

Nolan said as the first year of work continues, he and his wife are pleased with the way things are going.

“It’s going fantastic,” Jerry Nolan said. “It’s doing really good, the rooms are doing well, the apartments are doing fine, and so is the restaurant. We are pretty happy.”

Jerry Nolan also said l he and his wife are having a great time living the Norwood life.

“We love it here,” he said. “It’s a beautiful little town. It seems like a good place to be, and we’ve enjoyed it here.”

Last month, the Back Narrows Inn also Joined the Norwood Chamber of Commerce, and chamber president John Dotson said he is pleased to have the hotel on board.