February 1, 2023
Annapolis, US 32 F

New Innkeepers At Chez Amis Bed & Breakfast In Annapolis Historic District

Elly and Joe Tierney knew they wanted to be innkeepers, but because of some good advice from an experienced innkeeper, they took their time.

“An innkeeper from Cape Cod said to ‘inn-sit’ for a few years, take innkeeping seminars, and learn as much as we could before creating our own inn,” says Elly Tierney. So Elly left her 25-year career as a civil engineer in the Washington, D.C. area, set up a web site and became a professional inn-sitter, assisting inn owners who needed to get away for short periods of time. For more than two years, she took courses and “got a little obsessive” about napkin folds and recipes and all the “fun stuff of innkeeping.”

Then, early in 20ll, the Tierneys learned that Mickey and Don Deline of Annapolis, MD, wished to retire and were seeking new caretakers for their Chez Amis Bed and Breakfast at 85 East Street in the Annapolis historic district.

Now, Elly and Joe are busy preparing gourmet breakfasts and greeting guests as the new innkeepers at Chez Amis. “We couldn’t believe our good luck,” says Elly. “Sometimes, the stars align.”

Chez Amis is located at the intersection of East and Fleet Streets in Annapolis, a location that WalkScore.com rates 91 out of 100, a “walker’s paradise.”

“It is the kind of place where you can park your car for the weekend and put the keys away until it is time to go home,” says Elly. The inn is located at the foot of the State Capitol and a few blocks from the Naval Academy and St. John’s College. Sailboat masts at City Dock can be seen from the Fleet Street sidewalk. Within one-quarter mile, there are the gardens at historic William Paca House, restaurants, ice cream, chocolate shops, a Sunday farmer’s market, bike rental, and sports bars.

“In addition to being a walker’s paradise,” says Elly, “photographers tell me this neighborhood is a paradise for them as well.”

In spite of its proximity to so many attractions, East Street is very quiet. “Once you’re back at the Inn, you really have the feeling of getting away from the busy part of town,” she says.

The Tierneys are ready for fall visitors who come to Annapolis for the Navy football games, boat shows, street festivals, shopping, and the sights and sounds of the autumn waterfront. Elly and Joe are continuing traditions established by the prior owners, such as a well stocked library of DVDs and books, daily newspapers, and fresh baked cookies, while adding board games in the parlor and new touches of Provence to the décor. Elly is passionate about “all things local.” She is decorating with antiques from Evergreen Antiques on Maryland Avenue, serves coffee from the local City Dock Coffee, and serves breakfast on Annapolis Pottery plates and mugs. The inn has both Wi-Fi and HDTV.

Architectural History of 85 East Street, Annapolis

The building that houses Chez Amis was originally erected in 1885. It served the East and Fleet Street neighborhood as Sams Brothers Groceries from the early 1900s through 1970s. George Sams passed away in the early 1990s and 85 East Street became a bed and breakfast.

The original architecture is represented in the interior stair, which is ornamented with square balusters. Original “Sterer” oak store cabinets greet visitors upon entering. The parlor ceiling is still covered by original pressed tin in a geometric floral design with egg and dart cornice molding. The reception and common area also retain the original wood floors edged with replacement baseboards with a beaded cap.

About the Innkeepers:

Elly and Joe Tierney relocated from Washington D.C., where Elly spent 25 years as a civil engineer with Turner Construction. She specialized in construction for health care facilities. Elly finds it ironic that her second career is so different from the first.

“I think it was time to use the right side of my brain,” she says.

In addition to helping Elly manage the inn, Joe Tierney has continued his work in international construction management with Skansa in Rockville, MD.

They are the parents of four children who are now in various stages of college, graduate school, and early career.

For more information, visit http://www.ChezAmis.com or see Trip Advisor.

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