WEST STOCKBRIDGE — The owner of Rouge restaurant on Center Street has decided to sell both the eatery that she has run for over 20 years, and its recently constructed wine shop.
In a recent Facebook post, Maggie Merelle said she intends to put both businesses on the market this week.
In a brief telephone interview Monday, Merelle declined to elaborate on her reasons for putting Rouge and Rouge Fine Wines on the market.
“All that I would be able to tell you right now is that I look forward to supporting all the West Stockbridge businesses as they enter their 2022 season of renewal,” she said.
When asked how she planned to sell the businesses, Merelle referred to her position as a Realtor with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, which has offices in Great Barrington and Lenox. According to her biography on Sotheby’s website, Merelle is licensed to sell real estate in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.
In the post, which she described as a “valedictory not a eulogy,” Merelle stated that she has been been the “heart and soul” of Rouge for over 20 years, and the eatery with the help of “my local customers, team and the community... revitalized West Stockbridge.”
“Now that the COVID restrictions are lifting this should be a period of renewal for Rouge,” she wrote. “For me it is a fork in the road.
“I was fortunate to be able to launch a successful career in real estate,” she stated. “I plotted a path to lead Rouge in this era while also recognizing this is the ideal time for a new leader with their own team, talent and resources to carry forward this beloved Berkshire’s institution.
“With a heart full of gratitude I have decided to step away and offer this magical space for someone else to cherish.”
Merelle also wished Rouge’s patrons “many more evenings of happiness sitting at its tables and barstools, and, in spirit, I will be raising my glass to you all.”
She concluded her post by writing in French, “avec mes meilleurs voeux et souvenirs” which means “with all my best wishes and memories.” Rouge is the French word for the color red.
Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Merelle moved to the Berkshires 22 years ago, and founded Rouge the year after she came here, according to her biography on Sotheby’s website.
A graduate of Antioch College, Merelle has also lived in Manhattan and in France and speaks English, French and Spanish.