Big changes are coming to one of Yardley's landmark dining spots.
At its May 16 meeting, Borough Council voted 6-0 to grant final land development approval for a major project that will see the Yardley Inn at 82 E. Afton Ave. elevated five feet, expanded and completely renovated.
The work will involve moving the inn farther into the parking lot and moving it back on a new foundation at the higher elevation, said Peter Golden, vice president and director of operations for Sherute Construction, the construction manager for the project. In addition, work will include construction of a second-floor deck to accommodate 35 to 50 people for outdoor dining, a lift from ground level up to the first floor, and an elevator from the first to the second floor, said Golden and other professionals working on the project.
There will be new doors, windows, bathrooms and many other items, they added. Work, which will result in the inn being entirely compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, is not scheduled to begin until early 2025 and the inn will be closed for the estimated year or so it will take to complete the project, representatives for the inn said. Golden said the work will have an estimated price tag of somewhere between $4 million and $5 million.
"The Yardley Inn is a special place and I will be happy to see it maintained for many more generations," council member David Appelbaum said.
The work will lift the inn — at the corner of East Afton and North Delaware avenues and just a stone's throw from the Delaware River — above flood elevation. Total square footage will increase from about 5,000 to more than 8,400 and total seating slightly to close to 300. There will be a sidewalk built along East Afton Avenue and the work will move the building out of the North Delaware Avenue right-of-way, inn representatives added.
The project had been thoroughly reviewed by the borough's planning commission and other agencies, and so council members were familiar with most details when they sat down May 16 to consider land development approval. Also approved were conditional uses to allow permanent outdoor dining on the new second-floor deck, and a larger outdoor dining tent that will accommodate that use until the project starts.
Attorney Mike Meginniss and other inn representatives said the tent will be removed once construction on the new project starts and will not be put in use again once it's completed.