Bad accounting forces Bentleys and Fire Stones closures
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | March 05,2013
Owners of two well-known restaurants in the Upper Valley announced Monday the eateries are now closed.
Bentleys in Woodstock and Fire Stones in Quechee closed on Sunday due to financial mismanagement, according to a press release issued by Mountain Trading Company, the parent company of both restaurants.
The financial mismanagement by a minority shareholder was discovered in December, the company said, and the principal owners, David Creech and Bill Deckelbaum dismissed the individual involved, including a financial assistant.
Creech and Deckelbaum said they brought in professional management to rescue both restaurants, but the damage was “insurmountable” and they were forced to close. Both of the restaurants’ websites are offline and no information was provided regarding the restaurants’ employees.
Creech and Deckelbaum are residents in the Upper Valley and said they are leaving the restaurant business. They are exploring new projects and Creech will continue operating his other business — W. David Creech Real Estate in Woodstock.
Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beth Finlayson heard about Mountain Trading Company’s financial troubles but said she was surprised by the abrupt closings.
According to Finlayson, Bentley’s is a major landmark in Woodstock Village located at the corner of Elm and Central streets. Fire Stones is also an important landmark in Quechee Village located at Route 4 and Waterman Hill, she said.
She thinks both restaurants will bounce back and will reopen soon because they both mean so much to the local community and beyond.
“I’m hoping it’s more of a reorganization taking place. They are the heart of the Woodstock and Quechee communities and let’s hope it’s a short blip in their operations. We’re hoping for the best,” Finlayson said.