Norwalk's Inn location was notable long before there was
a Norwalk Inn; it was notable before there was a United
During the early days
of the American Revolutionary War, Norwalk stood out as
one of the most important Connecticut ports supplying
General George Washington's colonial army. In
retaliation, New York's royal governor, William Tyron, .
. . . led some 2,000 British soldiers ashore
on the evening of July 11th, 1779. After
defeating a small band of local militiamen
the Long Island Sound, Governor Tyron's
forces set a massive fire and then, from an
elevation known as Grumman's Hill,
witnessed an inferno which destroyed all but
six of Norwalk's homes.
But happier times were ahead.
Over the following decades and centuries
what was once a modest Grumman Hill trail
transformed into East Avenue,
important artery in Norwalk's municipal road
system. As the site of our Town Green,
avenue was the eventual home to impressive
Yankee buildings like the First
Congregational Church . . .
. . . and the vicinity of many local attractions,
including Stew Leonard's dairy store
. . .
With the benefit of such a central location,
East Avenue was, in 1955, the natural choice
to be Norwalk's main entry/exit point
the Interstate-95 highway. The new highway's
visitors were considered so vital that they
prompted an unprecedented, bold plan:
leaders decided to establish a
community-owned lodging house less than a
half-mile from the I-95
'The Norwalk Motor Inn' proved successful in
drawing visitors but, by 1985, three decades
after its founding, the 99 East Avenue
had seen far better times. As a
result, the city sold the somewhat run-down
motel to private investors.
Under the new ownership the renamed 'Norwalk
Inn & Conference Center' soon underwent the
first of several top-to-bottom renovations
to upgrade its 72 guest accommodations. The
latest of the multi-million dollar overhauls
took place only two years ago,
recognition as the Chamber of Commerce's
'Small Business of the Year' while also
. . .
. . . ranking it among the best of Fairfield
The Norwalk Inn's most newsworthy renovation
has yet to come, however.
In August 2010, the Norwalk Inn's owners
publicly announced that, through an
innovative agreement involving
the State of
Connecticut and local preservationists, they
would rehabilitate a neighboring home. The
landmark 'Grumman-St. John Home',
back to the 1870's, will soon be fully
restored to its 1920's-era appearance . . .
. . . and then reopened as an upscale bed & breakfast .
Closely tied to the $6 million
preservation project will be a complete
overhaul of the Norwalk Inn's existing
and four square-acre grounds, one that will
include an all-new building facade . . .
. . . parking lots, and landscaping. (More
on the project can be found through our
‘Inn the News’ page).
While the 2010-12 expansion project promises
to take the Norwalk Inn to a whole new
level, our hotel has long established itself
as one of southwest Connecticut's favorite
destinations. Over the years, the Inn's 50+
employees have hosted
debates, press conferences, fundraisers, and
campaign headquarters . . .
. . . while also welcoming the likes of
Senator John McCain and the Monkees (that
would be the famed pop group, not the
When Hollywood casts & crews were
in town shooting feature films
like 'Revolutionary Road', 'Righteous Kill',
and 'The Stepford Wives', they chose to stay
The hotel has also been a traditional base
for our home town's everyday life. We've
held family events from baptisms to
Social events from engagements to
golden anniversaries. Business events from
networking get-togethers to award
School events from graduations
to 50th year reunions. At this
point it's rare to come across a Norwalker
who hasn't visited
the Norwalk Inn on
multiple occasions and in multiple seasons.
We're proud of our unique history, our
facilities, our place in our home town's
civic life, all of it. But the thing we're
most proud of?
An exceptionally long record
of family ownership and superior guest
For more than 25 years, the Norwalk Inn &
Conference Center has been owned and
operated by the Handrinos and Katsaros
families, Greek-Americans who first
immigrated to the US during the 1960's. With
God's blessing, we'll continue that family
tradition far into the future . . .
it's rare for a mid-sized American hotel to be run as an independent company
rather than a corporate franchiser,
but we believe that status is tied to a
superior level of client care.
At the Norwalk Inn more enjoyable guest experiences aren't the stuff of a
corporate mission statement- they're our competitive advantage.
Clients don't deal with a faceless franchise- they can speak to the owners,
even share a drink with them.
We don't rely on billion-dollar ad campaigns, either- we rely on the quality
reputation we developed in the community over the last quarter-century.
The Norwalk Inn & Conference Center may not be as gigantic as some corporate
competitors, but we're proud of the difference.
It's the reason we present an
outstanding value for our guests.