Autumn 2003

Dear Neighbors,

I think I have had my 15 minutes of fame. In early September I flew to Boston to pick up one of the first 26 new London Taxis imported to the U.S., and the first one to be put into service for an American hotel. I was a pretty famous hombre driving this nifty rig down the New Jersey Turnpike. There were always cars on either side of me whose occupants were giving me the thumbs up (at least I think it was their thumbs). But the moment I shall never forget was cresting the George Washington Bridge. I felt like I was on top of the world. It was as if I was looking down on Manhattan to the left and the rest of this entire country to my right. It was exhilarating, so I rolled down the windows and cocked my arm on the door the way I had been trained to do in my Grandfather’s ‘48 Ford pick-up back in Montana. Then I turned up the radio, and, like Mercury aligning with Mars, the music being beamed to me was none other than the Riders in the Sky singing “Back in the Saddle Again.” It was so perfect that I wondered if I had just been in a terrible accident and this was my experience of the afterlife. (I’ve always been presumptuous.)

The Taxi (actually a modification of the London icon called the London Executive Sedan) is in service at the O.Henry Hotel. It is arguably the most comfortable livery vehicle for one or two people, and, in a quirky, cosmic way, I’m a happier person with her as part of our family. I guess we need to name her – any suggestions?

Please read more of this letter and you’ll learn about our new Magi Bed at the O.Henry and about special holiday offerings at our Lucky 32 restaurants and the Green Valley Grill. And you’ll see our mission and values for our sustainable practices initiative.

Cheers! Dennis Quaintance & Nancy King Quaintance
(Maybe I’ll get a word in edgewise in our next letter…)

The O.Henry Hotel’s new Magi Bed is designed to bring our guests the gift of a good night’s sleep. In fact, you won’t find bedding quite like ours anywhere else. We spent months searching for the perfect pillows and mattresses. When we couldn’t find bedding that was just right we decided to design our own. We started by tweaking an already supremely comfortable mattress, then added four plush, down-like sleeping pillows. We wrapped it all up with the most sumptuous, Egyptian combed-cotton, Italian-woven sheets and pillowcases, then topped it off with a hypoallergenic, fiberfill blanket (our blankets and pillows are made in a family run pillow “factory” in Brooklyn, to our specifications). Then we had our neighbors, Burlington Industries, create a copper-colored damask coverlet – we think it gives the room a warmer feel. And it is laundered. No suspect bedspreads here.

Experience the enchantment of our Magi Bed for yourself, or give the gift of luxury to someone you love. We’re offering a special Holiday Neighbor’s Rate of $139 per night ($60 less than our regular rate of $199) from November 21 through December 1, December 12 through December 30 and January 1 through January 11. This rate includes a full buffet breakfast and a late checkout.*

We’re also featuring our ultra-romantic Mirandolina Package. This package is a delight to the senses – we’ll set the stage for a romantic evening with a surprise grand entrance to a room specially prepared to inspire love, or at least dancing. Included are one night’s gracious accommodations with deluxe turndown service, chocolates, flowers, champagne, bubble bath, romantic music and a full hot buffet breakfast for $239.

Make reservations, purchase gift certificates and learn more about special deals and packages by visiting our website at, or call our Reservations Manager, Ana Abella, at 336-544-9603 or toll-free at 800-965-8259. *The Holiday Neighbors Rate is based on double occupancy, subject to availability and does not include tax.

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For the past couple years we’ve been exploring new ways to bring the freshest, most flavorful foods to our guests while considering the triple bottom line of profit, environmental sensitivity and social responsibility. To these ends we’re purchasing some of our meats and seafoods differently. We’re also bringing more and more local produce and artisan-made cheeses to the Green Valley Grill and Lucky 32. We call these ambitions our “Field Truck Initiative.” We hope that this Initiative will have long-lasting effects that extend through-out our community. Here is the mission and vision for this Initiative:

Our Mission is to support Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants’ primary mission (which is to offer the highest quality food and drink at a good value) by procuring fresh, locally grown (or made) food that explodes with flavor. Our Vision is to aid in the positive evolution of farming and commerce so that we leave the earth healthier for posterity. Our Methods are to find partner farmers and food makers that understand our mission and vision, and want to help by supplying us with extraordinary food at a good value, so as to make this program sustainable. Our Values are to support our partners by supporting their mission and vision.

Some of our partners are local farmers who handpick their produce on just a couple acres, and others are larger companies that supply some of the best restaurants in the country with top quality ingredients. Allow us to introduce you to just a few of our partners:

Niman Ranch™ ( is a network of small family-owned farms, and we have at least 30 of their pork farmers right here in North Carolina (many transitioning from tobacco farming). All Niman Ranch farms follow a strict protocol that includes “treating their animals humanely, feeding them all-natural feeds and allowing them to mature naturally” – plus Niman Ranch pork tastes better.

Giacomo’s Italian Market (336-547-2888) Giacomo Santomauro can be found selling his fresh mozzarella and artisan-made charcuterie at his shop in Greensboro. Fortunately for us (and our guests) he also provides his fabulous meats and cheeses to our restaurants.

Dark Hollow Farm is found at the end of a winding road in a valley near Reidsville, NC. Richard and Deborah Davis are the owners of this small, traditional farm that produces a range of fruits and vegetables, including squash, kale, tomatoes and strawberries, for our restaurants.

Goat Lady Dairy ( is located just down the road in Climax, NC. It’s a working family farm that is open to the public. Owners Steve, Ginnie and Lee Tate believe in “nurturing the land, our family and our guests.” They provide our restaurants with award-winning, hand-made, farmstead goat cheeses.

Carolina Classics Catfish ( is near the North Carolina coast in Ayoden. They provide us with the freshest catfish available. Freshness and gourmet taste are the most important aspects of their business, and it doesn’t hurt that their freshwater fish are raised in a low stress environment, fed an all-natural diet and are shipped within hours of leaving the water.

We have long believed that the nearer the farm to the fork the better the flavor, and our partners help us put your money where our mouth is. Please let us know what you think about our Field Truck Initiative by contacting Bart Ortiz, our Vice-President of Flavor & Consistency, at 336-370-0966 x 347 or [email protected]

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The O.Henry Hotel offers complimentary transportation with most packages and a ride to or from the airport is always included with an overnight stay. To kick this amenity up a notch we have acquired a London Taxi. This is the first “London Executive Sedan” put into service for hotel use in North America.

We fell in love with this car at first sight and we think our guests will, too. When you’re riding in the London Taxi you feel like you’re traveling back in time. Just imagine pulling up in front of Triad Stage (the professional theater located in Greensboro’s city center) in our elegant London Executive Sedan and having the porter hold open the door as you make your appearance…

Stop by the hotel any time to take a gander at her, or, for information about packages that include a ride in our London Taxi, visit us at, or give our Reservations Manager, Ana Abella, a call at 336-544-9603 or 800-965-8259.

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©2003 Quaintance-Weaver