New owner: Lock 12 fixture to reopen in spring

A n Albany man who purchased Lock 12 Marina and Finch and Chubb restaurant at auction last week says both businesses will reopen later this spring.

“We intend to reopen the restaurant as quickly as we can,” said Bill Brina, who secured the property for $100,000 last Tuesday.

He says he expects to close the sale on April 27 and the marina will open almost immediately thereafter.

“The marina will be operational right after the closing; like the next day,” Brina said. “The restaurant and inn will open quickly thereafter.”

Ray and Linda Faville closed Lock 12 Marina and Finch and Chubb last fall after 26 years in business and turned the property over to Home Loan Investment Bank as part of a bankruptcy plan.

Brina said the price for which he obtained the property will allow him to invest in the property and make some renovations and improvements.

He said there are likely some “code issues” that will need to be dealt with and some things he and business partner “Bumper” Wagner feel they must do as the new owners, such as modernizing the electric system, before the restaurant can reopen. They also need to obtain a liquor license, a process they have begun already.

“We’re going to do the work quickly,” said Brina, a retired government capital finance planner and independent public policy professional.

Brina has not yet decided whether to retain the Finch and Chubb name, nor has he made a decision on the theme of the restaurant and style of cuisine which will be offered.

“The restaurant had a real identity and a real following,” said Brina, who ran into a friend last week in Albany who said Finch and Chubb was one of their favorite places to dine. “We have to explore whether to keep the same atmosphere or change it. It will be a similar restaurant in value and distinctiveness.”

“It will be upscale, but affordable,” Brina said.

He said a number of people have called him in the last week to pitch their ideas.

“We don’t want to be replicative of any restaurants in town,” he said.

Brina hopes to work cooperatively with other restaurateurs in town and mentioned the possibility of starting a Whitehall restaurant commission. He said they planned on working with the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce.

Although the property will be Brina’s first in Whitehall, it may not be his last.

He said he and Wagner identified three communities they believe have potential for upside and Whitehall is among them. Their plan is to purchase distressed properties and establish viable businesses.

“This is our first investment in Whitehall, but is by no means our last,” Brina said. “We think the community is ripe for economic renewal and revitalization.”

He declined to reveal other opportunities he may pursue in the community, but said they had a plan that would be revealed in the coming months.

“We think that tourism with Canada is on an upswing and that this is the beginning of a cycle of positive thing happening in Whitehall,” Brina said. “We’re looking forward to a bright future.”

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