The Madison Inn & Restaurant


Article provided by Black Mountain News

Written by Murphy Funkhouser Capps


Rhea Busick and Jason DeBlaere, became the owners of the Madison Inn and Restaurant in Black Mountain, NC in June of 2010. Busick, was a former career academic. Her husband, DeBlaere, had supported her through her PhD program and now it was his turn to get back in the kitchen. The couple, originally from Ohio, relocated to North Carolina years ago and moved from Winston Salem to open a bed and breakfast in the North Carolina Mountains. Jason would use his culinary skills and Rhea would use her business management skills to cultivate business and her power tool skills she learned from her family to take care of the needed renovations to the 1950’s property. Like many small business owners, Rhea and Jason were prepared to live off passion and sweat equity for the first few years, until the business grew under their management.

Sadly, after four wonderful years hosting seasonal hotel guests, wedding and anniversary parties, local diners for dinner and Sunday brunch, as well as supporting many local non-profits, including with their annual “Merry Christmas Black Mountain” campaign that gave back 50% of dinner revenue to non-profits in the Black Mountain community, Jason and Rhea are unhappily hanging the closed sign on the front doors of the Madison Inn for good.

“It is distressing but, we have found ourselves in a position where the income does not cover the expenses. It is only for financial reasons that we can not keep this dream alive”, says Busick.

According to the Small Business Administration, only half of small businesses survive beyond five years. Many factors including market, economic, or just being in the “wrong place at the wrong time”, can factor into a business’s success or failure.

The couple would like to thank all those that supported the inn and restaurant, and those who helped them stay positive and hopeful, even during challenging times. “It has been an experience we will never forget,” adds Busick. “We are not sure what our next step is. Our one big hope is that we will find a community that is as welcoming as the one we found in Black Mountain. And we want to encourage people to remember to support local. If there is a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try or a store you have never been in, take a moment to do so. Your neighbors and friends who are trying to grow their small businesses need your support to keep their dreams and businesses alive. That’s what being a community is all about.”


Below are two alternatives for accommodation in Black Mountain with contact information as well as links to their websites for you to view the properties.

Both properties are on the east side of Black Mountain, giving you easy access to town as well as the Ridgecrest properties.

Inn on Mill Creek (David and Bridgette) 828.668.1115

pet friendly bed and breakfast

Friendship Lodge (Bob and Sarah) 828.669.9294

Click here for web page.

bed and breakfast

You can also contact the Visitors Center at 828.669.2300 for a full list of accommodations, restaurants, and activities in the area.