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Antrim House restaurant to close

Owners say they don't have income to pay fixed costs

September 07, 2010|By DANA BROWN
  • The Antrim House restaurant in Greencastle, Pa., will close its doors Sept. 20, marking the end of more than 30 years in the community.
Dana Brown, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The Antrim House restaurant in Greencastle will close its doors Sept. 20, marking the end of more than 30 years in the community.

"We're very disappointed we have to make this decision," Antrim House owner and manager Carissa Martin said. "We just don't have enough income to take care of the fixed costs, which are out of our control."

Martin, who owns the business with her husband, Loren Martin, said "there were many factors involved" in the couple's decision to close the business, but rent was the biggest obstacle.

Martin said negotiations have been ongoing with JAG Management Group LLC of Greencastle, which leases the building to the Martins, for "adjustments or concessions on rent."

"We weren't able to come to terms with our landlord for that," Martin said. "We went to the landlord many times. Unless a miracle happens, we're proceeding with closing. When you have fixed costs you can't control, you can't turn things around."

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Several messages left with JAG Management Group went unreturned Tuesday.

The building at 104 E. Baltimore St. was built in 1904 as the McLaughlin Hotel. Don Hummer opened the Antrim House Family Restaurant in 1979, and it became a staple in the community.

"It's disappointing because it's part of history," Martin said. "Our customer base is obviously very sad. This is part of their family."

"Well, I'm gonna miss it," Phyllis Myers said Tuesday.

Myers, who lives a few blocks away, said she walked to and from the restaurant on a regular basis.

"I'm usually down here a couple times a week," Myers said. "Off and on, I come down and take meals home."

As they left the establishment after eating dinner with friends, Bob and Terri Brust of Greencastle said they had just heard the news about the Antrim House closing.

"It's a shame, a real heartbreaker," Terri Brust said. "This was really special."

"It was our special-occasion place," said Connie Robison of Greencastle.

Ariel Sherrill of Greencastle said she decided to stop in to the Antrim House for one last meal in a place where her family celebrated many events. She said she took photos.

"I've come here all my life," Sherrill said. "It's been a part of Greencastle."

Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joel Fridgen said the closing of the Antrim House will be "a loss for the community."

"It has a historic presence and reputation in the community," Fridgen said. "Anytime a business closes, you feel bad for the business owners. It's unfortunate, but I understand their reasons for closing."

Fridgen said that while the Antrim House is closing, several businesses have opened or moved to the downtown area in recent months, including a couple of niche eateries.

"We do have a lot of good activity. We just have to get through the Antrim House closing now," Fridgen said.

Martin said she is disappointed because closing the Antrim House means bringing part of Greencastle's history to an end.

"It's hard to feel like you are part of that," she said.

Martin said plans were in the works to auction the business' assets. No date has been set, but she expects it will be soon, she said.

Martin did not speculate about the future because her family "invested above and beyond because we did think it was our future," she said.

Martin said the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner every day until it closes.

Editor's note: This story was edited Wednesday, Sept. 8, to correct the year of the restaurant's opening.

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