Karr adds Grist Mill to stable of businesses
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | October 02,2012
KILLINGTON – The Grist Mill Restaurant will reopen next month with a new name and under a new owner.
Local businessman Chris Karr agreed to buy the business and building on Killington Road from David Gouchberg of Summit Partners.
The restaurant is being renamed The Foundry at Summit Pond.
In business for 27 years, The Grist Mill closed suddenly last month. Owner Thomas Kinnally and his wife purchased the business three years ago from Summit Partners. Prior to buying The Grist Mill, Kinnally managed The Garlic restaurant in town.
Karr also owns the Pickle Barrel Nightclub, JAX Food and Games and Scrub-a-Dub Pub on the Killington Road.
“I think it fits into our other operations up here,” Karr said Monday. “We’re really excited to take it in a little bit different direction than it has in the past.”
Karr’s plans include interior renovations, a new menu, entertainment, and outdoor events year round with the pond as the focal point.
“We’re bringing back ice skating this winter and we’ll have rental skates available for families to use,” he said.
He said a mid-November opening is planned.
Karr will hire a new staff and is close to naming a new chef. The Foundry will serve lunch and dinner with a full restaurant menu and a tavern menu.
Veteran employee Mike Patenaude was named general manager of all Karr’s Killington properties.
The Grist Mill is Karr’s second recent acquisition in town. Last month, Karr and several partners purchased the former Bill’s Country Store at auction for $355,000. Plans call for the property to be converted into the town’s Welcome Center and serve as the offices for the Killington Chamber of Commerce.
Karr and two of the five partners are chamber officers with Karr serving as its current president.
The Foundry will also share some of the successful concepts Karr has developed for the Pickle Barrel and JAX, such as the use of the Barrel Rider courtesy van and Pickle Barrel passes, which offer VIP privileges.
Dan Graham built the restaurant for original owners David Gouchberg and Ken Budzyna.
Over the years, The Grist Mill has hosted such popular events as the Green Mountain Road Race and the Killington Tricycle Race.
The restaurant is located at the entrance to the Summit Lodge, which is owned by Gouchberg and Bill Bauer.
Bauer said in a statement that Karr has a record of success and “the vision and the means to elevate the business into a resort destination.”