There are all kinds of sights down Route 7 from South Burlington to Shelburne, but arguably none as hideous as the Harbor Hide-A-Way, empty and collecting dust for the past 25 years.
"It was a really cool place. It was like a museum you could eat dinner at," said John DuBrul of the Automaster.
Decrepit remains are left of a business that was once the place to go. Saying it had eccentric décor would be an understatement; everything from the medieval to the macabre filled the space.
"They used this casket as a door," DuBrul said.
The Hide-A-Way opened in 1941 and was known as a special occasion restaurant. And John DuBrul marked a special occasion there with a symbolic last meal.
"I remember I was old enough to run around and be told not to touch anything because it was dangerous; swords and knives" DuBrul said.
DuBrul owns the Automaster just next door. It's the largest dealership in Vermont and DuBrul has stared at the rundown restaurant for years. He is celebrating because he just purchased the 13+ acre lot and will be tearing down all four of the buildings.
"The plan now is to get rid of this eyesore," he said. "Clean it up and make it look nice. Improve our parking capacity at the Automaster."
The DuBrul family has wanted to get their hands on the prime property ever since it closed. But the owner wouldn't sell, with dreams of one day redeveloping it. He recently passed away and his family decided it was time to let it go.
"We had an agreement for right of first refusal. The family was good at honoring that," DuBrul said.
And soon it will just be memories. Demolition starts Wednesday.
DuBrul did not want to disclose the price he paid for the Harbor Hide-A-Way, but it will soon be public information.
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