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If you've ever wanted to spend a night at the sprawling-yet-cozy Oklahoma ranch that the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond calls home, this comes pretty close: The Food Network star is opening a hotel.
We're used to chefs opening restaurants in hotels — not the hotels themselves — but the move makes a lot of sense: Drummond's new general store, deli and bakery has been drawing 6,000 visitors a day to her hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, population 3,477.
All those people, of course, need a place to stay, and while there are a handful of hotels in the quaint downtown, it's safe to assume Drummond's place will be the most in-demand once it opens. Especially since it's going to be small: It'll only have eight rooms, Drummond wrote on her blog. "Actually, I think I'm going to call it a boarding house, because hotel doesn't sound right," she added.
As for what it will look like, The Mercantile, her 25,000-square-foot deli, coffee shop and home-decor store, which opened about a year ago, offers a pretty good idea.
Both buildings are renovations of historic structures in Pawhuska. The Mercantile is housed in an old bank, with what looks to be 19th-century painted ads still visible on some of the brick walls, and the future hotel is in a building that once served as a drugstore, with the same kind of charming old details on the brickwork.
We imagine — and hope! — the decor will also feel a lot like Drummond's rustic-yet-cheerful shop of goods, packed with colorful ceramics, reclaimed wood pieces and vintage-inspired finds.
It sounds like she and her husband are very hands-on with the design, with Drummond noting that they "already changed the bathrooms based on a hotel [we] stayed in recently."
Formerly an events professional in Los Angeles, Drummond met her husband, Ladd, aka Marlboro Man, a fourth-generation cattle rancher, in Oklahoma. ("He doesn't smoke. It's figurative," she notes on her site.)
After he swept her off her feet, she later started a blog, The Pioneer Woman, full of down-home recipes and tales about her transition from city to country girl. It led to a Food Network show, cookbooks, children's books, a magazine, the shop and restaurant and now, a boutique hotel — er, boarding house.
An official opening date has not yet been announced.