Issue: August 2003
Sweet Haven

The Crazy Swede offers elegant lodging a stone’s throw from the Havre de Grace waterfront.

 

The Crazy Swede is not a B&B. It goes one better, offering visitors a spacious private apartment, complete with a kitchen where you can fix your own breakfast - and lunch and dinner. Owner Ken Beyer created a series of plush guest suites within his collection of historic Havre de Grace homes that line the street near his Crazy Swede Restaurant. Havre de Grace attracts a lot of business people, he says, who come for a week or more at a time. He wanted to offer them a homelike atmosphere where they can work, meet with or entertain clients as the occasion may warrant. And that’s a boon for boaters, who may be looking for a place to roost while their boat is being worked on, or who just want a place to kick back while they explore the town.

 

    Clint and I were definitely in exploring mode when we visited during the Havre de Grace Maritime Festival. We stayed on the first floor of the O’Neill House, so named because Havre de Grace hero John O’Neill built the house as a wedding present for his daughter, the equally intrepid Matilda. (You’ve heard the story: John kept firing at British invaders during the War of 1812, until he was captured by Rear Admiral George Cockburn; Matilda persuaded Cockburn to release the feisty cannoneer, and received Cockburn’s snuffbox and sword as a tribute to her courage.) We had enough room (three of them, in fact) to swing a hefty duffel - plus a pleasant front porch with comfortable seating, a grassy backyard and a lovely sense of privacy. Others were staying in the building at the time, but we wouldn’t have known without being told. Although we didn’t avail ourselves of the kitchen during our stay, it offered an attractive eating area and was equipped for real cooking had we decided to eat in.

 

    Beyer, an architecture buff, has restored five buildings so far and refurbished the second floor of his restaurant. He occasionally left bits of the original structures exposed for added interest (carpenter Clint found that particularly fascinating). Most of the suites have working fireplaces. All are about two blocks from the waterfront and downtown shopping. The Crazy Swede guest suites range from $95 to $140. No smoking. No pets. 410-939-5440; www.crazyswederestaurant.com.