John Redding and his wife, Lisa Harrington-Redding  are opening a café abd martini bar in the newly renovated Safford Mills Inn at 722 Main Street
John Redding and his wife, Lisa Harrington-Redding are opening a café abd martini bar in the newly renovated Safford Mills Inn at 722 Main Street in Bennington. (Zeke Wright)
Thursday July 18, 2013

ELIZABETH CONKEY

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- Friday at 4 p.m., John Redding and his wife, Lisa Harrington-Redding will re-open the doors of the Safford Mills Inn, but this time, with the addition of a specialty martini bar and café within.

The inn, formerly a bed and breakfast owned by Redding's parents, is the oldest house in downtown Bennington, believed to have been built between 1769 and 1774.

Over the past couple of months, the couple has fully renovated the downstairs of the historic home, including three guestrooms, the kitchen, and three sitting rooms.

Altogether, the space now has seating for about 30 people.

Redding and his wife have lived on the top level of the home for a number of years along with John's parents.

The idea of transforming the downstairs into, possibly, the area's new hot spot, stemmed from what they feel to be a lack of nightlife options in Bennington.

"As a couple, after you go to dinner or do something, there isn't really a place in this area to get drinks and dessert," said Redding.

Harrington-Redding agreed, explaining that they often travel to Albany or Saratoga for a night out.

"We kept waiting and waiting for a place like that to open in Bennington," said Redding. "After a while, when that didn't happen, we thought we would just start one ourselves."

The martini bar and café, open from 4 p.


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m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, will offer creative, flavorful, vodka-based martinis for around $8, as well as a variety of wine.

Sweet treats, including tortes, cakes, and pies will also be offered, and will range in price from $4 to $5.

The three guest rooms, located off of the sitting rooms, will range in price from $100-$180 per night, depending on the season and day of the week. Each room includes its own private bathroom.

Since the couple enjoys sleeping-in, a late check-out time will be offered to their guests.

Visit the Safford Mills Inn Martini Bar and Café during their opening celebration, at 722 Main St. in Bennington, starting at 4 p.m. this Friday.

For more information, visit their Facebook page: Safford Mills Inn.

Contact Elizabeth Conkey at econkey@benningtonbanner.com. Follow her on Twitter @bethconkey.