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Jun 8, 2014 01:59 PM
Discussion

Reopening of the Collegeville Inn?

After being vacant for 10 years, there has been some landscaping activity in front of the venerable old buffet and the "For Sale" sign is down. Anyone have any news on this?
CP

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  1. I would not bet on a reopening. I did pass that crew one day and if I recall correctly it was a utility of some sort not a landscaping crew. The building is huge and in a flood plain of sorts. The look of the place after that initial update would work in any mountain venue for sure even with simple bar food. They opened with some weird concept which doomed them from day one. I cannot even guess at the money invested and lost there.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Bacchus101

      The concept was "La Marche" after a Montreal-based chain that had patrons select choices, place orders at a central chef's station, pay up front and then sit until their food was ready. What's wrong with this picture??? Food was appropriated by others thinking it was theirs, food got cold if you forgot to walk back periodically and check, there was wait service for water and nothing more (no one to help elderly/ handicapped with their selections,) the serving area was a playground for unattended kids running, bumping into patrons carrying hot entrees and creating havoc. Needless to say, my first visit was my last. What were they thinking?

      The building is off the flood plain but hundreds of cars have been lost in the lot. Let us see.
      CP

      1. re: Chefpaulo

        Surely they borrowed money from a bank to start up that goofy concept. Hard to imagine that a bank vetted that dumb idea.

        1. re: Chefpaulo

          Sounds like this concept worked for the Montreal chain some where or they would have not made the investment, which I would expect was a significant one. I would think that with Montreal being quite a cosmopolitan city with a French based that their location would not be in the city proper, just a guess. Of course the surrounding areas are quite rural where one might find this type attraction working. I do find it strangely interesting and will see if I can dig up more information.

        2. re: Bacchus101

          Yer right. Some digging but they're gone and the sale sign is back up.
          It could be an iconic meeting place - if not for the flood plain parking lot. When the La Marche concept was in operation, the bar area with its huge hearth and high rough hewed log ceilings was quite attractive.
          I hope it has a third reincarnation. Remaining vacant into its second decade will take its toll on the infrastructure.
          CP

          1. re: Chefpaulo

            Chef, you, me and Sal might be the only people interested in the decade long failure; here is just a bit of unverified information I found regarding it from 2012.

            The owner, Joseph V. Roberts, operates Nutrition Management Svcs company along with a woman named Kate. The comment was much longer but with all the adjectives and nasty descriptors removed we come down to the one sentence above.

            1. re: Bacchus101

              Sounds like more than the rehabbers of the C'ville Inn lost their shirts. Must have been one vitriolic comment.
              CP

        3. The original comment has been removed
          1. There is a SOLD sign on the property! So something is going to happen.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Bacchus101

              In passing the property it always seem to me that there was a confluence of issues with the location. Very difficult entry except from one direction, the traffic back up on the bridges, the potential for flooding and a very large building with major upkeep, heating and cooling issues thus requiring high prices or heavy customer traffic to pay the bills. It will be interesting to see what is done with the property.

              1. re: Bacchus101

                Agreed. I think the building is a obstacle to anything succeeding

                1. re: Bacchus101

                  I drove by today and the sign still says "Under Contract." They had better get to signing something soon as there is now a substantial hole in the roof!
                  CP

                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                    Perhaps the roof is going to come down anyway. I would be a shame to see the building go especially with all the great enhancement they made to it. I want the bear head for my den. But after 10 years empty the state of the building could be in severe decline. Thus my speculation of condos.

                    1. re: Bacchus101

                      http://www.timesherald.com/general-ne...

                      could be a recipe for even more of a traffic nightmare for that intersection!

                2. re: Bacchus101

                  Lots of rumors it was purchased by the Shady Maple folks. Could be interesting if they can figure out the traffic situation, which was also a rough spot for the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel.

                  1. re: weeare138

                    Very interesting indeed. With the reputation Shady Maple has for the "all you can eat" food service they may even be able to overcome the traffic problems. My guess would have been condos...shows you what I know!

                3. I would appear that as of 3/20/15 it will not reopen. The two proposals involve a retail complex and residential. To make this successful without further disruption in the area will require a huge effort and big bucks for a total rework of traffic patterns. How about a few more bridges ;)?

                  http://www.timesherald.com/general-ne...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bacchus101

                    Traffic is horrific enough between 4 and 6:30 p.m. with the Inn closed and vacant. Add 162 apartments and 46 town homes with a two-lane bridge access? It will be a disaster. Speaking of disasters, are the buyers aware of the flood plane situation when we get the occasional hurricane?

                  2. Collegeville Inn was the first place I ever had frogs legs... Ha, the memory just came to me. My family wasn't big on smorgasbord dining, so we were only there on a few occasions. My brother in law was the property manager at the last reincarnation... the flooding is a real issue.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cgarner

                      ME,TOO! Mom assured me, "They taste like chicken." That was c. 1963 - and my first (and last) visit to "the old place."
                      CP

                      1. re: Chefpaulo

                        grew up outside of West Chester. the Collegeville Inn was a 2x/year excursion. on up Paoli Pike, turn left at King of Prussia, wave to the cows.....

                        pre-fire it was a unique and really good experience for the area - and that from a pre-teen.... before I got converted to "the only good food . . . ."

                        it never recovered post-fire. not to excellent, not to good, not to even 'worth it' -

                        took the in-laws there once; half-way through my FIL gave me a quizzed look and all I could say was "yeah - well, not what it was."

                        never went back, and we lived in Trooper.