Former Selectman Opening Austrian Eatery in Adams

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 6:40 p.m.


The Commercial Street building will receive massive repairs prior to reopening.
ADAMS, Mass. — Former Selectman Donald Sommer has purchased the former Harrington's Restaurant and plans to open it as the Haflinger House.

Sommer and members of his family formed Austrian LLC to buy the property at 17 Commercial St. for $110,000 on Dec. 16, 2011, from Adams Co-operative Bank.

On Wednesday, Sommers said he will be doing massive renovations including new boilers, fire suppression systems, patching roofs and buying new kitchen equipment for an opening in May.

"We're in the process of getting it shaped up inside," Sommers said. "There is some structure damage that we'll have to take care of in the spring."

Otherwise, most of the building is in good condition and when it opens will be operated as both an inn and restaurant, which is similar to other recent attempts at running a business there. The last two operations, once the Adams Rest Home, went into foreclosure. The first was Silvia's Inn and the second, Harrington's Restaurant. Eric Harrington bought the building for $280,000 from the bank in 2004 but lost it in 2010 to foreclosure.

This time is different, Sommers said, because the focus is not so much making money but rather to just bring some "life into the building." The building had become a gathering place before it closed in 2010 and Sommers is hoping to bring that back.

"Quite frankly, we just wanted to preserve the building," Sommers said. "It's a lot of work and I hope it will be worth it."

Sommer plans to offer Austrian food (his heritage is Austrian and he frequently travels there) and to be successful, he said "the key" is provide "good food, good service at a fair price," as well as finding the right person to run it. That person, as well as a chef, is what he is looking for now.

Sommer has applied for a full liquor license, the only one currently available in town. His application was filed on Thursday and the licensing commission is expected to act on it soon.

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