Business Spotlight: Henry Clay Inn – “Ashland’s Jewel”

The hospitality business can be challenging, but the new management team at the Henry Clay Inn sees a bright future.   With a background in interior architecture, Garry LaCombe is spearheading renovations to the Drawing Room, guest rooms and public spaces.  “We want the Henry Clay Inn to be the jewel of the town,” says LaCombe with a twinkle in his eyes.

Sales & Marketing Manager, Tracy Cook, is confident that the Inn will have a prominent place in Ashland’s future saying that “the Jefferson Hotel is Richmond’s Hotel…the Henry Clay Inn is Ashland’s Inn.”  Cook wants to see the Henry Clay Inn serve as a center for local folks to gather on the front porch, have lunch with a neighbor and hold business meetings.

Future growth plans include an elevator to the third floor and roof top dining.  “Owner Beth Mason is an excellent visionary,” says LaCombe, who is the Property and Project Manager for the Inn.  Plans also call for an expanded menu service and catering for functions and receptions with the goal of becoming an events venue.

To help take the Inn to the next level, Todd Brady was recruited as Head Chef.  Brady was drawn to the Inn because of its welcoming and homey atmosphere.  “Sitting down to family dinners are some of my favorite memories, and that is the style of cooking that I like…family type dining,” he explains.  Todd has worked in restaurants his entire life, including the Fox Head Inn, Sidewalk Café and the Country Club of Virginia.  He looks forward to expanding the menu in the near future to include lunch and dinners.  He adds, “I want to see people on the porch enjoying themselves.”

No one knows the Inn better than Brenda Williams, who has worked there for 16 years and has been involved in every aspect of running it.  Williams started in housekeeping and is now the Inn Keeper.  Referring to herself as a “jack of all industry trades,” she considers the Henry Clay Inn to be her second home.  “I love this place…this is my place,” Williams says fondly.

The Henry Clay Inn is offering a special New Years Day Brunch from 8:00am – 2:00pm on January 1.  Enjoy southern classics including oyster stew and black-eyed peas.  Chef Brady’s Oyster Stew is his signature dish!  For reservations, call 798-3100.

Considering adding the Henry Clay Inn to your dining rotation.  The Henry Clay Inn is open to the public for brunch and breakfast.


Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00am – 2:00pm


Thursday, Friday and Mondays from 8:00am – 2:00pm

On display in the Dining Room are many large framed photos of the 2017 Olde Time Holiday Parade.  You might find yourself or your neighbor in one of them!

If you haven’t already met Inn Keeper, Brenda Williams, come over and say “hi!”