Gasthaus zum Schmied in Griess was first mentioned back in 1857 . The hosts at that time, the Kahls family, also began to rent out rooms at the turn of the century.
In 1928, a dining room seating 120 guests as well as 26 rooms were added. For those days, the running hot & cold water in the rooms and a WC off the hallway were very modern, even receiving a special award from the Styrian provincial government.
The Gasthaus continued to flourish into the 1970s, but the owners didn't have any children to take over the business, forcing it to close in 1974.
Two years later, brothers Josef and Anton Fritz bought the Gasthaus. After partial renovations, the business was run by Anton Fritz and wife Gertraud as a traditional inn.
In 1992, it was renamed and became the "Kirchenwirt". In Aigen, close to the Gasthaus, Saint Florian's Church was built; something the town had been waiting for for a long time. With its modern architecture, even after 20 years this church remains one of the region's most popular attractions.
Yet another upgrade to the facilities in 1999 resulted in improved quality in the main hall as well as the guest rooms.
The owners weren't focused purely on the needs of the guests either. They also developed better working conditions for their employees, making it easier for them to combine their profession with family. These efforts were recognized in 2007, the Kirchenwirt being honored with an award as "The Most Woman- and Family-Friendly Small Business in Styria".
2009 saw a generational change - Sonja and Sepp Fritz
took over Kirchenwirt Aigen with the support of their family.
Barely two years later, in 2011, they undertook a series of extensive additions and remodeling projects. The results included a new restaurant and banquet area for up to 200 guests, a large terrace, along with a hotel wing with 21 "Comfort"-category rooms and an elevator.
In May 2012, the children's playground was completed, while the terrace received a roof in the style of a winter garden!