The story of how, when or where Village Inn began remained a mystery in my research for a long time until I discovered one article which answered almost all the questions about their beginning. The restaurant website About Us page states that the chain began in Denver, 1958, but it started in 1956 in Colorado Springs. Brothers (in-laws), Jim Mola and Merton (Andy) Anderson are credited for starting the chain when in fact the restaurant was started by J. N. McCullough who had owned the original for ten years before the brothers were involved. A former church, built in 1880 housed the original by McCullough, the former mayor of Colorado Springs. The brothers purchased everything except for the building from McCullough and grew the chain to what we know it as today before selling it in 1977.
General Restaurant Information
Food Type: Family Style
Restaurant Type: Family Dining
U.S. Locations: 212
States: 39 states, Village Inn Locations
Company Slogan: No reference found
Questions: Contact Information
Phone number: 800-800-3644
Email: Contact Form Only
FAQ Page: No
Who Owns Village Inn? American Blue Ribbon Holdings
Headquartered: Nashville, TN
Email/contact page: Contact American Ribbon Holdings
Phone: (615) 256-8500
Address: 3038 Sidco Drive, Nashville, TN 37204
Do They Franchise? Franchise Information
What Is It Like To Work At Village Inn?
3.6/5 or 72%; 728 Reviews (indeed.com)
3.3/5, or 66%; 99 Reviews (glassdoor.com)
What to expect when working at Village Inn (job-applications.com)
The History of Village Inn
Original Location: 217 East Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Founded: November 1956
Founded By: James Mola & Merton Anderson
Founder Obituary: No resources found
Name Origin: Mola and Anderson purchased the restaurant from J.N. McCullough, the former Mayor of Colorado Springs and who had operated the restaurant for 10 years. When they purchased the restaurant from McCullough, the sale included with it the name “Village Inn” as well as everything that came with the restaurant with the exception of the building. (source)
Village Inn History Page: Company History Page
Historical Articles: Village Inn’s Colorado Roots (denverlibrary.org)
Charity Focus: Community Support
Green | Eco-Friendly: No resources found
Animal Cruelty: No resources found
Discounts At Village Inn
Rewards Program: Village Inn Reward Program
Do Kids Eat Free at Village Inn?
Summary: No resources could be found related to a kids eat free discount or promotion.
Does Village Inn Offer Military Discounts?
Summary: No resources could be found related to a military discount or promotion.
What Does Village Inn offer for My Birthday!?
Summary: Village Inn currently offers a free piece of pie for your birthday when you sign up for their eClub program with the purchase of an adult entree.
“When you sign up, our first email to you will include a coupon for a Free Slice of Pie with Adult Entrée purchase” (Village Inn eClub)
Does Village Inn Offer First Responder Discounts?
Summary: No resources could be found related to offering a first responders discount or promotion.
Does Village Inn Offer Senior Citizen | AARP Discounts?
Summary: Anyone 60 and older receive a discount of 10% daily at Village Inn
10% off for those 60 and older (theseniorlist.com)
“60+ 10% discount, some have senior menus” (thebalanceeveryday.com)
Are There Any Other Discounts or Benefits?
Summary: Village Inn offers different discounts and promotions when you sign up for their eClub membership.
Order Online: No
WiFi Available: Yes
Use Apple Pay: No
Open 24 Hours: No
Customer Reviews of Village Inn
Yelp: 3.7/5 or 75%, 1,239 reviews sampled
Tripadvisor: 4.2/5 or 85%, 2,366 reviews sampled
Overall Average: 4.06/5 or 81%, 3,605 reviews sampled
Village Inn & Related Items on Amazon
Food & Nutrition
Menu: Village Inn Menu
Kids Menu: Village Inn Kids Menu
Secret Menu: No resources found
Most Popular Menu Item:
Coke or Pepsi: Coke
Do They Serve Alcohol: No
Nutritional Information: Village Inn Nutrition Guide
Vegetarian | Vegan Options: Vegan Options at Village Inn (veganfoodlover.com)
Farm to Table | Organic Options | Clean | Non-GMO: No resources found
Miscellaneous Nutrition Resources:
Nutritional Information (fatsecret.com)
Village Inn Nutrition (happybeinghealthy.com)
Allergen Information: Village Inn Allergen Guide
Gluten Free Options: No resources found
Dairy Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.
Restaurant Guide For Dairy-Free Dining (godairyfree.org)
Peanut Free Options:
Peanut & Allergy Information (villageinn.com)
Food Allergy Guides For Many Chain Restaurants (verywellhealth.com)
Ways to Eliminate Risks of Peanut Allergy When Dining Out (healthguidance.org)
Does Village Inn Have Any Secret Recipes?
Ultimate Skillet (tasteofhome.com#17)
French Silk Pie (ohsweetbasil.com)
Did You Know?
Village Inn began when Anderson and Mola noticed the lack of pancake houses in the Colorado Springs area. (source)
Rather than starting from scratch and creating their restaurant, they purchased the existing Village Inn in 1956 from the Colorado Springs mayor, J. N. McCullough, who had owned the restaurant for ten years at the time Anderson and Mola purchased it. As part of the deal, the partners took ownership of everything (including the name) from McCullough except for the building which McCullough would continue to own. (source)
The very first location was located at 217 East Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO. The building which housed the original restaurant was (is) a landmark building for the town. The building, built in 1880, was initially Grace Episcopal Church. In 1929 the building became a restaurant and was called “Chapel Inn.” You can see what the building looks like today here. (source)
Even though Anderson and Mola would go on to open other Village Inn restaurants, they maintained the original Colorado Springs location until selling it in 1961. The second location was located at 8855 East Colfax Avenue in Denver. You can see what that looks like today here. (source)
By 1971, there were 60 restaurants in the chain. (source)
Anderson and Mola sold the chain in 1977 after owning it for 21 years. The investors who purchased the chain would later become Vicorp Restaurants. In 1978, Vicorp acquired 59 “Poppin Fresh Pies” restaurants and changed their name to “Baker’s Square.” Viacorp was sold to American Blue Ribbon Holdings in March 2009, the current owner of the family style chain. (source)
Being owned by American Blue Ribbon Holdings, Village Inn is a current sister company to O’Charley’s, 99 Restaurant & Pub, and Baker’s Square.
Village Inn’s Colorado Roots (denverlibrary.org)
Village Inn & Related Items on Amazon
Village Inn on Social Media
Followers (as of September 2018) –
Village Inn does not currently have any mobile apps
Researching Village Inn is like reading a book or watching a movie where you get to the end only to say, “is that it?”. I began Back of the Menu with a different name and purpose. With a passion for parents to spend time with their kids, I found there weren’t enough resources for parents as it related to eating out with their children. I sat down to create a very simple website as a tool for parents or anyone looking for restaurant benefits, my primary focus being if kids could eat free. That site concept lasted about a week. In my research, I began seeing the fascinating origin stories and interesting facts about these restaurants. I loved reading the history and personal stories about some of my favorite restaurants. I decided to change the structure and focus of my site to begin giving as much information as I could about each. For more on my purpose and design, you can read My Story. I continue to be interested in the chains I research, and they all bring something unique.
That has been the case until I began researching Village Inn. They do seem to get above average reviews (in most locations) which can’t be said for many other chains. The chain may be your favorite restaurant or your go-to spot in town, but if you’re looking for a reason to visit for the first time, you won’t find any resources here. With so many choices out there, neither their menu options, for taste or health or their family friendliness appeal doesn’t leave me with any desire; I’d rather go to Cracker Barrel, a great family-friendly option with interesting facts and a good story.