Former Route 7 Grille going to auction on July 27


GREAT BARRINGTON — The restaurant property that once housed the Route 7 Grill, among others, will be auctioned on Wednesday, July 27.

The property at 999 Main St. has been the home of a number of popular restaurants over the years.

Caesar's Restaurant, the first at the location, was founded in 1956 and ran through 1976. In 1976, Hans Wellauer and his wife, Rose, bought the restaurant and reopened as Hans Restaurant, specializing in the Swiss cuisine from his homeland.

Wellauer retired in 1996, and the location was sold to Mike Barrier. Barrier opened The Peppermill, a mainstream continental eatery.

In 2003, Lester Blumenthal bought the property and opened the Route 7 Grill, which specialized in barbecue. The restaurant took advantage of the sprawl of the space and the seating of 150 to offer a variety of options for dining, from the large crescent bar in the foyer to the long rows of wood tabled seating on the other side of a dividing wall.

The Grill closed in the winter of 2014, turning over operations to the restaurant's chef Christophe Jalbert. Jalbert opened two restaurants in the location: Preservation Society, a small and intimate restaurant that had opened in Route 7 Grill in the preceding summer; and P.S., an Italian-styled, farm-to-table restaurant.

Jalbert's restaurants didn't last until the next summer. The last post on the restaurant's Facebook page is from April of 2014, and Jalbert was working at Jameson 22 in Rhode Island by June.

Meanwhile, Blumenthal had taken a job with Texas fabric manufacturers Luxe Surfaces and Patty Madden Wall Covering. The restaurant went up for sale.

After a couple years of waiting, Blumenthal is now ready to pull the trigger, Pittsfield lawyer and bank representative Emil L. George said. George stressed the sale was not the result of delinquency on the part of Blumenthal.

"Lester is a really stand-up guy," George said. "But he's really busy right now and can't take on the stress of auctioning the property. So he asked the bank to do it for him."

The Aaron Posnik and Co. auction house will take care of the sale. The West Springfield auction house will be hosting an inspection, or open house, today, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on the day of sale from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

The property will be sold in two parcels: the restaurant and parking lot and the backyard area.

Everything in the restaurant is included in the sale, including the property's furnishings and equipment.

The 4,450-square-foot property will be auctioned off on Wednesday, July 27, at 11 a.m.

Interested parties can reach Posnik or 1-877-POSNIK-1 (767-6451).


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