Red Harring owner puts restaurant up for sale

A local restaurant will soon say goodbye to Williamstown, opening the possibility for a new business on Spring St.

The Red Herring has recently been put on the market for sale. Ned Smith, owner of the Herring, made the decision to sell the restaurant last summer, saying he plans to move out of the Town for personal reasons.

The Red Herring, which has served town residents and students since July 2002, is located next to Images Cinema. The restaurant, which serves “eclectic foods,” is a popular hang-out for town residents and students from the College. The bar was known as Canterbury’s until the establishment changed ownership.

Smith is selling the business through RCI Real Estate, a local agency with offices in Williamstown and North Adams. As of now, he has limited information about prospective buyers, but says that about five or six parties have shown interest in purchasing the restaurant so far. Among these are buyers from New York City and Lennox, Mass.

In response to rumors that Images may want to buy the restaurant, he said that the theater has expressed some interest in the property.

However, Ruth Giordano, house manager at Images, said that the theater debated the idea of adding the restaurant to its complex, but any plans for the purchase have since been put on hold. “I know we’ve looked at it, and it has been an interesting topic of discussion,” she said.

According to Giordano, the cinema has tentatively been “dreaming” of adding a second screen – an “Images II.” However, she stressed that this project is still in its very preliminary stages.

When the Herring went up for sale about a month ago, the theater was attracted to the idea of having a second space right next door. Images inquired about the sale, but Giordano said that in the end, the cinema was “just not ready to move on it.”

Converting the space that the Herring occupies into a suitable location for a second screen would require massive renovations, Giordano said. She also added that because of its dimensions, the restaurant space might not be a viable place for a new screen, even if Images were to take on the renovation project.

Since RCI is in charge of handling the different parties who are currently looking at the restaurant, Smith had little to say regarding in which direction the new owner might take the Herring. But, because of the location of the property, he said, “I assume they’d keep it in the same vein as a restaurant. . . I don’t think they’d turn it into a clothing store.”

He also noted that because “it takes a while to sell a business,” getting a good idea of when the Herring will be sold and who will take over the restaurant “right now is a little premature.” He said that it could be several weeks or more before he has a better idea of what to expect for the future of the establishment.

There had been some earlier speculation that the Purple Pub was also up for sale, since an advertisement appeared recently in the Advocate, announcing the sale of a local bar. In fact, the advertisement was for the Herring, and the owners of the Pub have confirmed that their restaurant is not on the market.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *