Remember the Mark Fried article on Asa Barton’s old house in issue #9 of The Gardiner Gazette? It’s the abandoned house on the corner of Steve’s Lane (pictured on the left, below). The Town of Gardiner bought the property at a tax sale with the idea to use the land to create a parking lot next to the Rail Trail and widen the access to Steve’s Lane. Both of these objectives were met under the direction of Charlie Haynes, the town’s Highway Superintendent. Then the town put the property out to an open bid. Paul Colucci bought it. Paul is as yet undecided about the fate of the house. There is a good chance, he says, of renovating it and turning it into a rental house. The jury is still out on that one.
Then there is the house that Susan Eckhardt and Johannes Knoops bought. The project was to turn this sweet little historic house into an elegant down home restaurant, complete with dining on a front porch overlooking Main Street. In the words of Susan Eckhardt: “Ah yes, 128 Main Street … we were so so grateful to the community for coming out and supporting the project when the chips were down. We couldn’t have done it without the friends, neighbors and fellow business owners who voiced their opinions and spoke out in favor of the restaurant. We are still fully committed to contributing to making Gardiner an even more fantastic place to live, work and play.
“Unfortunately, even with that support, we were forced to start working on another project (the restoration of a 1930’s bungalow on the New Jersey sea shore) since at the time we weren’t sure when, if ever, approvals would come [from the Gardiner Planning Board]. Johannes has an active architecture practice and is a full-time tenured professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. Time and scheduling are truly a challenge for us to navigate.
“Not that work on the restaurant has stopped! We continue to speak to chefs who are interested in the space and our “farm to table” concept. I may just open it myself if I can’t find someone willing to promise that Francoise Hardy will be playing softly in the dining room! Images of the entire concept are still available for viewing on Urban-fabric.com and we are always interested in speaking with chefs looking to lease the restaurant.”