RIP: Patrons Mourn Impending Sale Of Mount Haven
DINGMAN TOWNSHIP — June 6 would have been the 50th anniversary of Mount Haven Restaurant and Resort on Log Tavern Road in Dingman Township, but after five years of trying to sell the facility, the Filone family anticipates closing on the sale of their property and retiring as of Wednesday this week. The family members were in the last phases of negotiating the sale of the business, buildings, and land to an Orthodox Jewish group, which Andy Filone said would operate as a camp for children for two weeks in the summer and the rest of the time as a resort and conference center.
“We had it on the market for five years,” Filone said. “We talked to seven or eight potential buyers. When it came time to sign a contract, some couldn’t come up with the money. Others couldn’t get bank financing. This is the best offer we have had and we are confident that the sale is going through.
“We have been in a recession,” he said, “so for the past five years it was hard for people to get financing. Banks were reluctant to lend money for a restaurant and resort. It was not a good risk in this economy. But, we have no mortgage, and business was starting to turn around. We had good bookings for the whole year this year. We had to cancel the bookings and our advertising in local newspapers. If for any reason the sale doesn’t go through we would keep going.”
As rumors and word about the pending sale filtered through the Tri-state area, friends and customers have been stopping by to say their goodbyes. Filone said, “Some customers come in to eat three times a week. At one table last week, four ladies broke down and cried. We have history. It is a nostalgia thing. It’s happy and sad. Happy because of memories. Sad because we’re not going to be here anymore.
“Some of our customers have had kids, grandkids, and other family members holding special events here. Birthdays, proms, graduations, repasts. Many realtors brought the homeowners when the house closed. This was the first place they ate in Pike County.
“It has been sad for a lot of people, including us. Last week, we had to break the news to our help. It got very emotional. A lot of them cried. One of our waitresses, Shuko, has been here for 38 years. Our staff has been like family to us. They did well with us. We had been so busy on special holidays. My brother John and I and our wives, plan to retire and move closer to their grandchildren. John’s chronic health issues were the largest factor in the sale.”
According to John, the older family members’ work schedule was a burden. Recently it has been 12 hours a day, but previously it was up to 15 hours a day, a brutally demanding regimen. Only Andrea, Andy’s daughter was day-to-day actively engaged in the business. If the older families retired, the burden to run the business and manage the property would have been too much for her. The other second-generation Filones work in other areas of the country and in other industries... for a complete story, get this week's paper.