The History Of Our Property

The Inn Between Restaurant

Was originally the manor home of Thomas Hill Munro. Built in the 1880s, this property was once a thriving Guernsey dairy farm, one of the largest and best known dairy farms in upstate N.Y.

The Munro family is recognized as having been responsible for making a large segment of the history of Onondaga County. Thomas H. Munro was elected Sheriff of Onondaga County and served from 1934 to 1936. He was also a member of the county and state Republican Committee and a leading agriculturist serving on the N.Y.S. Agriculture Committee. The Munro’s are also touted as being amongst the originators of the Republican party who held its first meeting right here in the Village of Camillus N.Y. on February 7th 1852. It is interesting to note that this was the first documented meeting of the Republican party in the United States. The party however, was formally christened elsewhere.

The road on which The Inn Between is located was constructed as a plank toll road by the Munro family, connecting the area to the city of Syracuse and was the northern branch of Seneca Turnpike. There were several barns on the property. A very large cow barn stood on the west side of the property near the pond.

Inn Between

Other barns and tenant houses are still present on the other side of the Route 5 and the block building in the parking lot served as the creamery. Thomas Hill Munro Jr. took over his father's farm and began breeding and developing prize-winning cattle with much success. Farming activities stopped in 1945 when the estate was sold at auction. It is said that the top breeding stock cattle was sold for $45,000.00. The large cow barn burned to the ground in the late 50's, but the old pump still stands to remind us all of these hard working farm days when the beautiful countryside was streaked with dirt and cobble roads, ancient hardwood forests and when the farm hands used to go as far as Onondaga lake to bring the wandering cows home. The property then became residential apartments as well as the 1st Elks Lodge in Camillus. In the late 1960s, the property was purchased by a Vito Militi who converted it into an exclusive upscale restaurant and subsequently went bankrupt in 1971. Norman & Betty Colman then purchased the restaurant in May of 1972 and named it The Inn Between.

Norm, a well-known bass player and jazz musician who played with many big bands during the 50s & 60s, was familiar with the restaurant business being a bartender and nightclub owner in the Syracuse area. After purchasing the restaurant in 1972, Norm became a successful restaurateur and even served as president of the Syracuse Restaurant Association. In 1992, both Norm and Betty received the Restaurateur of the Year award from the N.Y.S. Restaurant Association. Most of their 8 children worked as the main staff. Norm and his son Brad were the bartenders, Betty was the hostess and another son, Randy, was the Chef. Both Norm and Betty eventually retired in 1989 which is when the restaurant switched hands to the current owners. Today, the restaurant is owned and operated by their daughter Penny and her husband Chris Cesta who continue to take great pride in providing outstanding food and hospitality to their guests.

Contact us in Camillus, New York, to learn more about our country restaurant's historic property.