What of the Woodbine?

Historic hotel back on market

Posted 12/31/19

Madisonville’s most historic structure is back on the market after just one year of ownership by Shamshad Zaidi, who purchased the Woodbine Hotel and Restaurant from Susan Warmuth and her husband Werner in December 2018.

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What of the Woodbine?

Historic hotel back on market

Posted

Madisonville’s most historic structure is back on the market after just one year of ownership by Shamshad Zaidi, who purchased the Woodbine Hotel and Restaurant from Susan Warmuth and her husband Werner in December 2018.

The Warmuths owned the notable Madison Street location for 20 years before the sale. The Woodbine will still be available to host the usual events such as weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, reunions and corporate luncheons during the selling process.

“Although we would like to sell this historic property, we will keep running the hotel normally until it is sold,” said Zaidi. "I would like potential buyers to know that if you want to be a part of history, this is the property for you. It has charm, character, and is a wonderful property with lots of potential.”

The hotel itself was listed for sale back in April, but the new listing includes more of the surrounding property.

Zaidi is also looking to sell her other surrounding assets such as the vacant lot off Elm Street, the parking lot across the street and the furniture inside the hotel. The Cannon House next door was already sold earlier this year to Madison County Economic Development.

All of the assets listed are included in the sale for a total asking price of $850,000. The listing is now under the authority of Wes Yoakum of Weichert Realtors out of College Station, after months under another agent.

When the sale is finalized, Zaidi and her husband have plans to retire and travel. However, she is prepared to continue standard ownership duties for as long as it takes.

“My plan was to buy it and take care of it for one or two years before having my kids take over,” said Zaidi. “However, they are doing different things and are busy with their own stuff. I have to sell it sooner or later, so I figured we would bring it to market and see.”

She expressed a desire to keep day-to-day operations the same for the most part when originally purchasing the hotel last year. The venue has not missed a beat in terms of hosting events such as weddings and group get-togethers, but the daily restaurant portion of the business has now been closed for four months, resulting in a number of inquiries from the community.

In the past, Zaidi has mentioned the possibility of adding new items to the menu such as a mix of American, Indian and Pakistani-type dishes to blend with the usual items. She has recognized the food to be the most critical aspect of the job since taking over the Woodbine. However, there are no concrete plans to reopen the restaurant to everyday patrons.

The kitchen is still put to use to use to accommodate events held at the venue which will continue.

During her time in charge of the Woodbine, Zaidi has increased the number of hotel staff from eight members to 10. She hopes to hire a manager in the coming months to assist with daily operations, preferably with Madisonville ties.

The Woodbine was not Zaidi’s first venture in the industry. She owned a bed and breakfast in College Station before purchasing the hotel last year. However, she recognized the obvious differences in both projects.

“That was a small scale and this is the biggest scale,” said Zaidi. “We did not have a restaurant there and we do have one here. This is the biggest scale and a lot of people come not just on game days like in College Station, but on all days.”

The rate of $100 per weeknight and $135 per weekend night has remained the same through-out Zaidi’s tenure as owner.

Susan Warmuth has remained in Madisonville and is working at LFI Postal and Copy Center, where she is pleased to remain in contact with her former guests as they mail their packages. She is also doing accounting work on the side and working for the census. She has no regrets in regard to selling the hotel.

“I had it for 20 years and that is a long time,” said Warmuth. “It was seven days a week, no holidays off, 24 hours a day. I miss the guests and the people, but I am glad to continue to see them (at LFI).”

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