The story begins in 1981 when Flurry Healy met Peter Wells in a local Mendocino bar called the “Sea Gull”. Peter Wells had a lease on a property in Albion and was looking for a partner. Flurry Healy was looking for a new adventure and happened to have the right business connections to get a loan. Together they purchased the property in 1981 and by January 15, 1982, the Albion River Inn was open for business. Turning toward the sea for inspiration, they built 20 ocean view guestrooms with all the amenities that took full advantage of the marvelous views. In addition, the existing restaurant was remodeled to seat 85 guests, with two window walls featuring the spectacular ocean view as part of the dining experience. What was a small restaurant with five guestrooms and an old cliff top cottage became, under their aegis, one of Mendocino Coast’s most popular romantic destinations.
Albion River Inn crowns ten acres of headland bluffs and gardens above the sea. Our architectural style, like most buildings on the Mendocino Coast, reflects the New England roots of the settlers who arrived here in the early 1850s. The ocean view is the heart of the Albion River Inn experience, and guest rooms and cottages open to dramatic views and private decks. Our lodgings are individually decorated. King or queen beds with down comforters, fireplaces, easy chairs, private decks, garden entrances, and an abundance of amenities like binoculars to enhance your whale and bird watching, await you. Our spacious spa tub cottages, and guestrooms with large soaking “tubs for two,” add an extra measure of luxury to your stay, and a chef cooked complimentary full breakfast is yours each morning of your stay with us.
ABOUT FLURRY HEALY
“Bring me a beaker of wine so that I may wet my mind and say something clever” ~Aristophanes’ (410-385)
They say Butte Montana is “a mile high and a mile deep”. It was a rough and tumble miner’s town with five railroads running through it. This is where Flurry was introduced to life. Both sets of grandparents owned saloons and a boarding House in Butte Montana. After High School, he was hired as a brakeman/conductor by the Southern Pacific Railroad. He worked there until 1978, when he got his first look at the Mendocino Coast. It was love at first sight, so he moved to Mendocino and sold real estate. He owned a gas station, a fish and chips shop, and bartended at the renowned Heritage House, where he became a wine enthusiast.
In 1981, he developed the Albion River Inn as co-owner with Peter Wells.
“Peter and I worked long hours in the restaurant and bar, keeping the place going as we developed our cuisine, bar and clientele.”~Flurry Healy
Their hard work paid off and soon the Inn began to attract people from all over the world who appreciated the location, the service and the delicious food.
Flurry managed to travel much of the United States, Canada, parts of Mexico, Central America and South America. Both visiting cities and hiking in National parks. His adventures took him through most of Europe, Africa, the Far East and the Middle East. He trekked the Himalayas in Napal and India, the Chilean/Argentinian Andes, the Amazon, New Zealand and Australia. He toured and tasted in wine regions throughout the USA, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Chile and Argentina. He enjoys fine whiskey from the U.S., Ireland as well as Scotch Whiskey. He is always looking for another adventure.
ABOUT PETER WELLS
Born in England, Peter Wells grew up in a world at war, surviving the Blitz and was later conscripted into the Royal Air Force for two years. Trained as an actor at the prestigious National Youth Theatre, his acting career in theatre and on BBC TV series in the 1950’s and ’60s couldn’t keep him from exploring the world.
Peter discovered San Francisco, working part-time in several area restaurants, including the Trident in Sausalito, which was owned by the Kingston Trio. His career interest turned to real estate when he was given the Trio’s property investments to manage in southern Marin County.
After traveling around the world together, it was in 1970 that Peter Wells and his wife Diane moved to a ranch in northern Mendocino County. In the winter of 1971 he made his first visit to the Albion River Inn property, then the Windjammer restaurant. Peter felt an immediate affinity with the diversity of the patrons, the independent mood of the coast community, and the spectacular views of the Albion Cove and the Pacific. The Wells Family moved to the coast in 1972, lived in the Ford House in Mendocino, and immediately became active members of the community, participating in local theatre and music productions.
The Albion property came on the market in 1979 and together with Flurry Healy, they purchased the ten acre property from Florence Scott, gutted the old restaurant building and did a complete remodel. Albion River Inn was born. Twenty oceanfront rooms and cottages were built during the ’80’s and ’90’s and the business has been rewarded with wonderful clientele year after year who enjoy the fine food, romantic ambiance and the magnificent location.
“I wanted to create an event where everyone benefits – the guests, the employees, and the community.” ~Peters Wells on the Albion River Inn
Peter takes pride in how the Albion River Inn has been a family business. His Children, Sally, Scott, Juliet and Anthony grew up working in the restaurant and the inn. His son, David, was head chef until 1993. Outside the restaurant, Peter is still active in music and theatre. His musical “Blue Dove” a celebration of the Indian Philosopher J. Krishnamurti, was produced both locally and in Hollywood.
From Left to Right: Co-Owner Flurry Healy, In-House Sommelier Mark Bowery and Co-Owner, Peter Wells
1981 – The “Sea Gull” – local bar where Peter and Flurry met.
1965 – Windjammer Cove Restaurant. The building which now is the Albion River Inn Restaurant.
1982 – The newly renovated Albion River Inn Restaurant
1984 – Byrd Baker carves a whale for the Albion River Inn which is now featured in the restaurant.
1987 – New cottages under construction.
1987 – New cottages almost complete.
1997 – Executive Chef, Stephen Smith, receives the James Beard Foundation Award.