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Lowville restaurant-motel slated for demolition after auction

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LOWVILLE — A nearly 60-year-old, fire-damaged restaurant and motel on Utica Boulevard is slated for demolition, possibly to make way for a new retail store, after everything of value is auctioned off next week.

“It’s a lot of history,” said Glendon J. Widrick, who has owned the Lighthouse Restaurant and Motel with his wife, Maribel, since 2007.

The business has been closed since a Dec. 20 fire, originating in an upstairs office and storage area, caused extensive smoke and water damage.

The rear extension of the building, which housed 12 motel rooms, was relatively unscathed. However, required upgrades to the electrical system and other aspects of the building were ultimately deemed too costly to consider reopening, Mr. Widrick said.

“It would just take too much to bring it up to code,” the retired Beaver River Central School teacher said.

The building opened in 1954 as Rossdale Dairy. In 1990, it was sold to Robert J. and Elaine Garito, who operated it as Country Bob’s until 2002, when it was sold to Marvin D. and Sandra S. Roes and renamed the Lighthouse.

Given the extensive history and memories for past employees and patrons, Mr. Widrick said his preference would have been to sell the building to someone wishing to reopen it as a restaurant and motel.

However, with no such offers forthcoming, he and his wife have tentatively accepted a purchase offer on the property, pending the building’s removal, by a developer looking to possibly construct a small retail store at the site.

“That’s our priority — to get retail, not just a parking lot,” Mr. Widrick said, noting his desire to maintain the village tax base.

The auction, to be conducted by Brzostek Auction Service, Phoenix, will begin at 10 a.m. May 16 at the restaurant-motel with a preview set for 9 to 10 a.m.

Items for sale will include all restaurant and kitchen supplies, including a walk-in freezer, soft ice cream machine, grills, oven, serving bars and tables, as well as furnishings from the motel units.

Items will be sold as they are. The auctioneer will tack on a 10 percent buyer’s premium. Checks will not be accepted.

For more information on the auction, visit the Brzostek website at http://www.brzostek.com.

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