Accessible and comfortable ... it's the Baker
July 8-14, 2019
By Cait Smith
On the corner of 501 Main St., the historic Baker home sits, quiet and comfortable. It’s trendy yet simple, and has all accommodations needed for a cozy stay. “It’s great being able to share this beautiful landmark. We’re very proud of this home,” said owners Nathan and Stacy Hamilton.
This Victorian style home has been deeply rooted in North Little Rock for years – even before the Hamiltons took over. Ideas for the home were first brought to life by contractor A.E. Colburn. Colburn, a native of Arkansas, was famously known as a jockey in England. In 1898, he returned home with his earnings and built the Baker in partnership with Henry Glenn. Shortly after construction, Colburn sold the house. From then on the Baker has been owned by six different families until eventually landing back on the market in 2015.
A shared love for historic homes is what influenced the Hamiltons to keep the Baker from getting away. “Nathan and I had been talking about the home for quite some time – we didn’t want it to continue deteriorating,” said Stacy. That’s when an idea arose, – “I had this amazing business venture in my head that I couldn’t pass up,” she stated.
As a real estate agent, Stacy understands the ins and outs of homes; and Nathan, the director of communications for the Mayor of North Little Rock, knows all about the exciting transformations happening in the Argenta area. Because they were able to combine their talents and expertise, they were sure this historic home makeover was right for them. “We ran the idea by a lot of people in the community just to see if they thought the idea would work,” said Stacy. They had the support they needed to continue with the plan.
The Hamiltons got to work on the project right away – though they knew it was going to be a challenge. “We’d always done small remodels on houses but never something to this level,” explained Stacy. Aside from remodeling, they also had to learn a thing or two about the hospitality business as their goal was to operate a bed and breakfast on the premises. “I would say the hotel business is the greatest challenge but it’s incredibly interesting … and we’re getting much better at it,” said Nathan.
The Baker officially opened for business on April 12, 2019. The public was just as eager to get inside the newly renovated home as much the Hamiltons were. “More than 500 people made their way through the house. There was a lot of built up interest to come in and see what we had done with the place,” Nathan said.
The Hamiltons employed Dogwood Homes for the remodel of the Baker and it’s keeping guests in awe. “The reviews have been incredible,” said Stacy. What makes for an even better stay at the Baker is the accessible location (the Baker is situated in the heart of downtown North Little Rock). “Our guests like it for the walkability. They can walk to breakfast, lunch, and dinner hassle free – which is a nice reward,” said Nathan.
Along with five suites and a stand-alone cottage as options for booking, the Hamiltons also offer packages for a better stay. One of their more popular ones is the ‘date night’ package: this includes a room complete with wine, chocolates, dinner at Ristorante Capeo, breakfast and coffee the following morning at Mugs Café, and a late checkout.
The Hamiltons take pride in sharing this lovely home with the public. “We never get tired of giving tours. Everyone wants to see it … they’re very proud of it,” Nathan said. The Baker has even hosted two weddings, – “The families said it was the easiest set up for a wedding,” said Stacy. And they don’t want the hosting to stop there – the Hamiltons want to see more local events like receptions and luncheons held in their humble abode.
“We’re always busy – but even with both our full-time jobs, two children, and [the Baker] we’re very lucky because we’re giving people a home away from home,” said Nathan.
To book your stay, visit stayatthebaker.com
Come escape at the Baker – a cozy bed & breakfast located in downtown North Little Rock equipped to accommodate the needs of any local traveler. Inside the Argenta Suite – modern inteior design decked with a king sized bed, 46” tv, and a deep claw-foot soaking tub. The Baker Cottage is a separate building, but only a few steps from the Baker home. It is the most private of all the suites, offering a small kitchenette area and living room downstairs with a bedroom upstairs. (Photos courtesy of the Hamiltons and friends)