Popular Lowville restaurant closes

The Ridge View Inn, a popular location for weddings and other events, as well as for meals and entertainment with locals and visiting snowmobilers alike, opened in 2011 by Heather and Michael Houppert. The Inn’s last meals were served this month. The business is listed for sale for $1.15 million with Homes Realty, Lowville. Julie Abbass/Watertown Daily Times

LOWVILLE — A popular restaurant along a Lewis County snowmobile trail and the backdrop for wedding memories since 2011, the Ridge View Inn, 6912 Bardo Rd. off State Route 12, closed its doors earlier this month and is looking for a new owner.

In a Facebook post on Nov. 20, restaurant co-owners Heather and Michael Houppert made the only public announcement of the closure.

“This business was built with the need of two “seasons,” winters and weddings, and without both it just isn’t a viable business,” the post said.

The Inn post came a day after a post on the neighboring motel’s Facebook page by co-owner Tracey Miller.

“Jeff and I would like to let the public know that our hotel, the RIDGE VIEW LODGE, is NOT for sale and we are NOT closing!... We are taking reservations for rooms and snowmobile rentals at this time,” Mrs. Miller’s posting said.

Mrs. Miller said people had been contacting her under the impression that the two businesses were owned by the same people, but that isn’t the case.

The Ridge View Lodge opened in 1988, Mrs. Miller said, and the restaurant has always been a separate entity, although the two complemented each other.

The exact date the restaurant served its last meal could not be verified, however, the Ridge View Inn hosted the third annual Comedy Night to benefit two local charities on Nov. 9, after which there were no more online posts promoting the business.

The announcement about the closing was met with hundreds of comments, shares and emoji reactions.

“So sorry to hear such sad news. You made our wedding reception a very special event,” Carol Lyng-Pickett commented.

Former employees also weighed in with support for the Houpperts.

Johnny Keegan Tunstall said, “It was an absolute joy to work there and work with you and make hundreds of brides happy. One bunch of classy and hard working group. I’ll always be a big fan.”

“So sorry to hear the news,” said Monique Billone Branagan. “It was a pleasure to work with you at the beginning and will be sorely missed.”

The post also said, “operating a business in NYS is extremely tough,” a sentiment which resonated with other small business owners in the area.

“I know you must have wrestled with this decision daily before it was made,” commented John C. Scott on the post. “As a fellow small business owner, I certainly feel everything you feel regarding keeping a business viable. People who have not owned a business don’t know the difficulty we go thru daily to keep the doors open.”

Some other area businesses offered potential jobs to Inn staff put out of work by the closure.

The 13,400-square-foot “turn key” business on 2.6 acres was listed with Homes Realty of Northern New York for $1.15 million on Aug. 27.

Neither of the Houpperts could be reached for comment.

To learn more about the property go to http://wdt.me/Wzt9FD

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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