Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo Auctioneer Eric Nathan sells the chairs from the South Station Restaurant during an auction in the once-popular Rutland restaurant on Monday morning. Items were sold one-by-one and in groups after the restaurant closed recently.The South Station Restaurant will never be what it once was.
Anyone hoping the restaurant would re-open with its old decor under new ownership had those hopes dashed as a flurry of buyers scooped up the tables, plates and everything else during an auction Monday morning.
“It’s always good to see 60 to 70 bidders on a Monday morning,” said Eric Nathan, auctioneer for Manchester-based Nathan Auction & Real Estate.
In an impressive feat of endurance, Nathan did not pause for more than a few breaths during the three-hour auction, which took buyers from the front dining room, through the bar, into the kitchen, out the back door and back inside again to sell every plate, seat and decorative item in the restaurant.
In March, the South Station Restaurant closed, owing money to the city and the state. While the restaurant, if it re-opens, will never look the same, members of the public might encounter some of the furnishings in the future.
The first item on the block was a wooden bench with a metal frame, purchased for $50 by Kathy Mathis and Dennis Marden of the Brandon Town Players.
“We’re going to put it outside the Town Hall,” Mathis said.
Students at Mill River Union High School in North Clarendon will soon be sitting just a little bit more comfortably when they visit the library. Librarian Karen McCalla purchased five of the plush, green vinyl-covered booths for the library for $632.
“We’re trying a new kind of commons-style seating, and think the kids will love being able to sit around one of these tables and work in groups,” McCalla said.
Prints of horse-drawn trolleys from the Rutland Street Railway went for $25. Every book in the library was sold as a single lot for $10. Outside, the catering equipment and the Rubbermaid storage shed that contained the equipment sold quickly, as did the catering van, a 2001 Ford Econoline with 150,000 miles, which sold for $1,400.
Even in the shell of the failed restaurant, hope bloomed among prospective restaurant owners. David Ingerman of Chittenden walked away with many items needed to complete his plans to open a Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza restaurant in New Hampshire.
“You make a list of what you’re looking for and you try to pay a fraction of what you’d pay for the stuff new,” said Ingerman, who previously hit a restaurant auction in Kingston, N.Y. “I now have 95 percent of what I need and I’m at half my equipment budget.”
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