By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
With a heavy heart John Schneider, owner of Avon’s landmark Main Street restaurant which was damaged in an October fire, announced that he will not be reopening.
“I am not going to rebuild,” he said. “I have this gray hair and I don’t have 20 years to start over.”
Schneider said the one-acre parcel of land located across the street from SylvanLake, will be sold.
He said he has been contacted by many developers, some who want to rehabilitate the partially charred building and others who say they will tear it down.
“I have been approached by all types of developers who want to buy it,” he said.
Schneider said he will be looking at offers in the coming weeks, but made it clear he wants whoever buys it to put something on the land that will be an asset to the borough.
“Something nice could go up there, it’s a nice central part of Avon, it could be a nice contribution to the town,” he said.
Schneider said he plans to make a decision soon so construction or demolition can begin.
“I don’t want an eyesore to be sitting there for any amount of time,” he said adding that former customers still ask him when he will reopen.
Even though it’s been four months since the fire Schneider and his mother Theresa, who owned the restaurant for 48 years, are still affected by the loss.
He mostly regrets the abrupt way the restaurant was closed.
Having the restaurant close due to a fire did not allow Schneider to say a proper goodbye to longtime loyal customers.
“It was just too abrupt, if you have three months, (when you know you are closing) you get to hug and kiss your customers good bye,” he said.
In the coming weeks Schneider will be talking to developers and deciding which offer he believes will be the most welcome addition to the borough.
“I don’t want something there that’s not going to add to Avon,” he said.