developer buying Skaneateles restaurant and bowling alley, will keep both | Business

After more than 30 years in business, the Hilltop Restaurant and Cedar House Lanes in Skaneateles will close this month due to their sale to a developer in Syracuse.

Over time, however, a restaurant and bowling alley will return to space, the developer said.

Sean Mott, owner of Hilltop and Cedar House, confirmed their closure in a Facebook post last week. When contacted by The Citizen, he declined to comment further.

Mott said in his post that the restaurant and bowling alley are expected to remain open until Sunday, November 14, but that plan could change depending on the availability of his staff. On Sunday, Skaneateles entrepreneur Adam Weitsman announced on Facebook that he would hire the staff from the “legendary venue” and pay them their full salary “until I found a breakfast spot in me so they can all work ”. Weitsman and his wife, Kim, are the owners of The Krebs and the Elephant and the Dove restaurants in the lakeside village.

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In his post, Mott thanked the staff, many of whom have worked at the Hilltop for decades. He also thanked his family and clients for their support.

“We have been fortunate to have been a part of this community for almost 32 years,” he said. “Please feel free to stop by over the next few weeks and thank our staff for their years of dedication and service to our community. But please, please be kind to them and understand that ‘We asked them a lot of questions already that they didn’t have the answer to. It has been a very difficult time for them. We understand that everyone is very passionate and can be sad that things are changing. We understand, because we are all too. “

The purchaser of the West Genesee Street restaurant and bowling alley is Woodbine Hospitality Group. The Syracuse developer is no stranger to the Skaneateles area: he bought the bungalows and boutique hotel Skaneateles Suites last April and built an 88-room hotel across from Hillrom, formerly Welch Allyn, on State Street. Road.

Tom Fernandez, Woodbine’s COO and village resident, told The Citizen on Monday that the developer hopes to complete the purchase soon. He made his offer to Mott after seeing the Hilltop and Cedar House listed by a real estate broker. Woodbine tried to keep the purchase silent, Fernandez said, according to Mott’s wishes.

“He feels his staff are his family. He has enormous respect and an audience in this place, and he should – he’s a very hard worker and he’s done amazing things,” Fernandez said. “So I understand.”

Fernandez said Woodbine was planning an “adaptive reuse” of the building that would add efficient hotel rooms and a family-friendly play area at the restaurant and bowling alley.

The aisle will be split in half, with lanes remaining on one half and the other offering games like foosball, table tennis, shuffleboard and more. The restaurant, Woodbine’s “main focus”, will have almost 100 seats and a bar, possibly with craft beer. His food will include “original versions of a dinner menu,” Fernandez said, and classic items that guests have enjoyed at the Hilltop for years.

“The big thing to remember is that there will always be a restaurant and there will always be a bowling alley,” he said.

The biggest change, however, will be the addition of a second story at the front of the building. The new facade will mimic those of the village of Skaneateles, Fernandez said, and on this second floor will be 20 to 25 efficient hotel rooms for extended or overnight stays. They will complement the State Street Road hotel in Woodbine, which does not have efficient rooms.

Fernandez pointed out that the developer’s project is subject to change. Among other variables, this requires approval from the Town of Skaneateles Planning Council, which informally discussed Woodbine’s purchase and plans at its October 19 meeting. Because of this, the developer doesn’t have a specific timeline for the project, but Fernandez said a year to 18 months would be ideal.

Woodbine also doesn’t have a name for the project. Fernandez said the developer may contact the community for feedback, acknowledging that it will always be known to some as Hilltop.

“You’re not going to come in and have the exact same feeling, but I think what we’re going to do is a tribute to what’s there now, and I hope that keeps that feeling close,” he said. declared.

Lake Life Editor-in-Chief David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on twitter @drwilcox.

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