Chef/Owner Karen Baron is a 1980 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. After honing her skills in the kitchen of renowned Main Line chef Albert Breuers, she purchased the Ferndale Inn restaurant in 1986. Since then, Ms. Baron has devoted her career to providing the best in casual fine dining: fresh ingredients and varied flavors combined to produce delightful, imaginative cuisine of the highest quality (not the highest price), service that is both skilled and gracious, and a refined yet comfortable atmosphere designed to deepen the pleasure of your experience. She and her staff share one goal: your complete satisfaction with each visit to the Ferndale Inn.

Chef Baron's signature dishes include  jumbo lump crab au gratin, soft shell crabs, duck with green peppercorn-brandy cream, angel hair pasta with lobster, and creme brulee.

In recent years, the addition of original oil paintings by artist Wes Shaw, Chef Baron's father, has greatly enhanced the natural charm of the Ferndale.  To view examples of his fine impressionist work, visit


Records tell us the Ferndale Inn predates 1827, when it may have been a private residence. This original building, only one-third the current size, was sold in 1830 for $1,275 and for the first time opened as a hotel.

A major expansion was undertaken in 1862, as indicated by the stone marker clearly visible at the peak of the western wall. Prior to 1900, when the business was called the Ferndale Hotel, it was further enlarged to the rear, and finally, the front dining room was added circa 1925. 

Located along the highway (present day Rt. 611) from Philadelphia to Easton, the hotel was a logical stopping point for road-weary travelers eager for a meal and a comfortable room. The electric trolley, which operated from 1897 to 1926, carried passengers from the county seat at Doylestown to Easton and the coal regions of the Lehigh Valley, with a stop in the Village of Ferndale. The trolley followed Old Easton Road; the tracks ran just a few steps from the back door of the inn.

Patrons of the inn would not have been restricted to travelers, of course. Local folks of all sorts - villagers, farmers, workers from the numerous small shoe factories - would have enjoyed the camaraderie of a central meeting place. Libations at the bar, a hot meal, catching up on local news, politics, and just plain gossip were the order of the day for nearly two centuries. Although overnight lodging was discontinued sometime before 1940, the Ferndale, where Chef Baron has worked her magic for the past 25 years, has continued to thrive as a restaurant through today.