By: Andy McKeever On: 05:58PM / Thursday March 17, 2011
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — There is about to be a shakeup in the town's restaurant scene.
Both Michael's Restaurant and Hobson's Choice have been put up for sale and the former Mezze site on Water Street will soon be filled with a new upscale restaurant.
Owner of the former Mezze location on Water Street Charles Fox said he could not reveal the details of the restaurant but the owners expect to open in June. The new owners have good reputations of running "upscale and trendy" restaurants in New York City, Fox said. The business is listed as Hops and Vines to be managed by Gil Rubenstein.
"In another 10 days there will be a more complete announcement," Fox said on Thursday. "They hope to have it up and running before Williams' graduation."
A liquor license for Hops and Vines will come before the Selectmen next month. The restaurant has just recently filed as a company with the Secretary of State and has yet to submit information to the town's Board of Health or Building Inspector.
Michael's Restaurant, a Route 2 mainstay, may also switch hands. The restaurant is advertised for sale at a price of $425,000 through the real estate company Alton and Westall. Michael Nikitas, who helps operate the restaurant with his sister and owner Cindy Nikitas, confirmed Thursday that the business is for sale but refused to elaborate. He said he would provide more information in the next few weeks.
The business has been in the Nikitas family for 40 years. It first opened at as an A&W Root Beer stand and became Michael's in 1984 when Michael Nikitas transformed his family's stand into the restaurant it is today. Cindy Nikitas purchased it from her brother in 1991 running it as the chef and owner. The two teamed up to run it in 2000.
Hobson's Choice is also advertised for sale for $495,000 but owner Daniel Campbell said he does not expect to close it. Campbell, who has been running the restaurant for 20 years, is looking for a new business partner after his former one left the establishment.
"We're testing the waters. I'd rather not sell it," Campbell said on Wednesday. "I'm actively pursuing partners."
Hobson's Choice, also on Water Street, has been in business for 20 years.
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I think most good business owners are flexible on such matters to the extent they can be. (Sometimes you need to sell something quickly and in a particular way, but such rigidity is usually not in your financial interest.) I don't know the owner of Hobson's Choice, but clearly the presence of such an ad would indicate that the owner is willing to sell if he gets an offer close to the advertised price. And even if his preferred option is to sell, say, half-ownership, the ad could prove useful in pulling in such a partnering deal. For one thing, most potential buyers will be using some sort of financing, and many will like the option of buying into partial equity, and taking on a partner instead of a fixed loan. If you correctly believe your potential partner to be competent and honest, it's usually the less risky way to go.
i ABSOLUTELY agree with the Pasta Ala Greque!!!! my Favorite meal ever!!! unfortunate they never seemed to be open for lunch, it's when i mostly go out to a restaurant... still would hate to see either place close!!!
Never went to Hobson's Choice, but I did meet the younger partners. I wish them well. We're terribly upset to lose Michael's, which has been a favorite of ours since we relocated here. We're rather dubious about the description of Hops and Vines; Williamstown doesn't need anymore "upscale and trendy" NYC wannabes. We haven't recovered from the mess left at Green River and Five Corners after the FL know-it-all ran them into the ground.