Saratoga Springs

Popular Saratoga Springs restaurant Longfellows to close, new owner expected

Longfellows restaurant Wednesday
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Longfellows restaurant Wednesday

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Stephen “Sully” Sullivan and his longtime business partner have announced they are selling Longfellows Hotel & Restaurant on Union Avenue after operating the business for 26 years. 

Sullivan confirmed the news to the Gazette late Tuesday evening. 

“I love Longfellows and I love our employees,” he said. “This has been a tough decision to make.” 

Sullivan did not comment further, only stating that a press release with additional details would be issued later. 

The business’s last day will be Jan. 23, according to documents filed with the state Department of Labor. The documents state that 78 employees will be laid off the day before. The employees are not part of a labor union. 

Documents cite “economic” as the reason for the business’ closure.

Sullivan said he is 66 years old and his silent partner is 82, so closing now is a partial retirement.

Sullivan will still own and operate the Olde Bryan Inn on Maple Avenue downtown. 

Before Sullivan assumed operations in 1996, the establishment was known as the Canterbury Restaurant. 

Many people online have expressed sadness over the announcement of Longfellows’ closure and the cancellation of events they were planning to hold there. 

Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus said, based on talking to Sullivan Tuesday evening, the closure will be temporary as a new company takes over the facility and looks at conducting upgrades. 

“I think the important thing for everyone to know is that Sully’s commitment to this community is legendary,” Shimkus said. 

That commitment won’t stop with the closure of Longfellows, Shimkus said. 

Shimkus said he’s pretty sure Sullivan was the first person to receive the Joseph Dalton Community Service Award, which recognizes an individual every year who has made at least 25 years’ worth “of contributions to the betterment of the community.”

“When I talked to Sully last night, he’s going to be sitting down with every single employee – because there’s lots of jobs out there, they could easily transition to any other local restaurant or hotel or attraction here, but he wants to meet with them to find out what would they really like to do, what would they really love to do,” Shimkus said.

Shimkus said that Sullivan asked the chamber to help him find those jobs for people. 

“That’s the kind of commitment he has to those folks,” Shimkus said. 

His commitment goes beyond the walls of Longfellows. 

For years, Sullivan and his company have provided free meals to those in the community who are in need, including those in hospice.

Shimkus said with the Olde Bryan Inn staying open and some employees possibly moving there, Sullivan may be able to do even more as far as providing meals. 

Shimkus said Sullivan has indicated that his commitment to the community won’t waiver with this closure. 

“I want people to understand that a lot of that, most of that, is going to be expanded because of this,” he said. “The community benefit of this is way more than I think anybody can imagine.” 

Shimkus said, while he hasn’t seen Sullivan’s press release about the Longfellows sale, he imagines more of those details will be forthcoming. 

Shimkus also said that from his economic perspective, the new owners want to invest in the facilities, “make it a little more modern and updated and, as a result of that, it probably means more people will go there.” 

The property is located on Union Avenue east of the Northway near Saratoga Lake where the road turns into Route 9P.

“In Saratoga, there are so many new places, the older ones that have sustained have had to adapt and upgrade and the new group is going to come in and make that happen,” he said.

The property has a full market value of over $5.6 million, according to the city’s 2022 assessment rolls.

Categories: News, News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs

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