The Inn at Bully's Restaurant & Pub was built in 1903 by A.G. Beattie as a Hotel-Tavern for the thriving mill and railroad town of Columbia. Originally named the Union Hotel it provided warm, clean rooms upstairs, and food and drink downstairs for the many travelers and railroad workers passing through this bustling town. The tavern became a popular spot to have a drink, get a bite to eat, or play a round of pool.
The beautifully carved walnut & chestnut bar was constructed by the William Wohlsen planing mill of Lancaster (first cousin of the Wohlsen who began the construction company), specifically for the Union Hotel. The bar still has the original grooves on its top surface, made back in the days when men sat at the bar for hours talking and drinking while using the bar-length spittoon at their feet, as they continued to absent-mindedly rub their nickels into the bar.
During prohibition, when Ernest Schlotthauer was the owner and the locals nicknamed the place Piney's, patrons continued to frequent the tavern which was rumored to provide its customers with homemade moonshine!
By the late 1950's, Earnest's step-son, Raymond Kitch took control of the establishment, and once again, the name changed; this time to Kitch's. Raymond and his family lived above the tavern, in an area separate from the hotel. His children share stories about how they would run around the upstairs hotel hallways, playing and carrying on, and even visiting with the men who rented the rooms here.
The tavern was renovated into a full service restaurant and pub in the late 1980's. It was renamed Bully's in deference to Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States at the time the tavern was built. Roosevelt was known for his congenial expressions of Have a bully day, or Bully to you, and in admiration of that era, and that President, the name was adopted.
The current owners, Dave and Sherry, acquired the establishment in 2000, and changed the name to Bully's Restaurant & Pub, (from Bully's on Union). They worked hard to improve the food, the atmosphere, the beer and wine lists, and the overall dining experience for their patrons. Their successful efforts were briefly interrupted by a fire, started by a wayward firework, which ravished the third floor of the hotel. This incident fueled inspiration to begin the nearly 3-year project to convert the upper two floors into a classy inn, from the former rental rooms. The Inn at Bully's became fully operational in the summer of 2010. Now patrons can enjoy fabulous food and beverages in the restaurant, and then retire to a well-appointed and relaxing room upstairs.
Across Union Street from Bully's, the former apartment house was fully renovated into a bright and spacious pastry shop, The Flour Child, on the first floor, complete with a 21 foot-long, revamped antique oak counter. Alixe (Ingoglia) Hemerly opened the pastry shop to much acclaim in mid-2009, and it has become Columbia's favorite patisserie!
The owners, along with their staff, continue to work diligently to make Bully's a destination for people who enjoy quality food and drinks. They welcome all to relax in the historic and award-winning restaurant or enjoy a night in the new and fabulous inn.
From our entire staff, we hope that you have a bully time at our restaurant and inn!
Proprietors Chef David Zahm & Sherry Landis
Executive Chef Robert Schoelkopf
Pastry Chef Alixe (Ingoglia) Hemerly