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Pa. couple buys Antrim House restaurant

August 03, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The "cornerstone of Greencastle" has been sold.

Todd and Johnna Bingaman, of Waynesboro, Pa., assumed ownership of the Antrim House Family Restaurant at 104 E. Baltimore St. on Monday, having bought the business, but not the building, from longtime owner Donald Hummer.

Hummer, 62, said Tuesday he is sad to leave his restaurant after so many years. He started working there in 1959 for Orville Barnes when it was called the Greencastle Hotel.

The Greencastle Lions Club owned it for a time and tried to run it as an upscale restaurant, Hummer said.

"They couldn't make it go," he said. He leased it from the club in 1979 and bought it in 1981.

The Lions Club bought the restaurant in 1976 and changed its name back to the Antrim House, the name its builder, Thomas Pawling, gave it when he built it as a two-story frame hotel in 1859, according to "Trails of History," a brochure on a walking tour of Greencastle.

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It became a three-generation venture for the Hummers, including Donald, his wife, Anna, their three children, Tina, Annette and Shannon, and their grandchildren.

Hummer said it was time to sell the business.

"It's seven days a week," he said.

He and his wife will try a different style of living, he said.

"We may travel for a while and rest. I started in this business when I was 16. I'm just tired," he said.

He also said that he may get bored in retirement.

"I told Todd I might be asking him for a part-time job," Hummer said.

Hummer also opened and has since sold a branch of the Antrim House Restaurant in Hagerstown.

He said he hopes the new owners run the Greencastle restaurant like he did.

"We're not changing anything," Johnna Bingaman said. The restaurant has a staff of about 70 during peak times. There will be no staff changes, Todd Bingaman said.

"They're training us," Johnna Bingaman said. "We're hoping for a smooth transition."

Todd Bingaman was the breakfast chef at the Parlor House Restaurant in Waynesboro. Johnna Bingaman worked at the Mountain Gate Family Restaurant in Waynesboro.

Todd has an associate's degree in accounting which will help with the business end of the restaurant, he said.

The Bingamans said they have been working on the deal to buy the business since February.

The restaurant is noted for its buffets, homemade pies and seafood, Hummer said.

"The Antrim House is the cornerstone of Greencastle," said Dana Given, who leaves town next week following a six-year stint as executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.

"Pretty much everyone knows where the Antrim House is," she said. "That's where you go if you want to be seen."

Almost everybody holds meetings there, she said.

There have been times, Given said, because of meetings and special events she attended as the chamber's executive director, that she went to the Antrim House "for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the same day."

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