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Schimschack’s restaurant can be yours for $599,000

There has been plenty of interest in acquiring Schimschack’s, the now-closed restaurant on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment overlooking the fields of Niagara County.

That is according to Paul T. Boser, a broker for Pyramid Brokerage Co. of Buffalo, which has listed the property for sale with an asking price of $599,000.

Boser said that he’s been contacted by would-be buyers with a wide range of ideas.

Some want to reopen it as a restaurant, but others have suggested a brewery, a wedding facility, a winery or even converting it into a home because of the view.

Schimschack’s closed Oct. 26, with James J. Marinello, who has owned it for 39 years, telling The Buffalo News that he had run into debt problems and was denied further credit by his banks and suppliers.

Marinello said he was $200,000 to $250,000 in debt, and bankruptcy was a possibility. He also said that he had placed “a big ugly ‘for sale’ sign” on the property in hopes that a sale would net him enough to get him out of debt.

It also would enable him to refund gift certificates that were left outstanding by the sudden closure. The State Attorney General’s Office has been taking complaints about the gift certificates and setting up a mediation process.

There is no law that requires a defunct restaurant to pay refunds on gift certificates.

The restaurant is located at 2943 Upper Mountain Road in the hamlet of Pekin. It’s on the Lewiston side of the border with the Town of Cambria.

“The property itself is unique,” Boser said. Besides the 4,000-square-foot building itself, the deal would include 2.6 acres of land below the restaurant on the slope of the Escarpment.

Boser said that land borders on active vineyards, so grape-growing is a possibility.

The restaurant needs a new roof, Boser said – the current one is flat and rubberized – but the restaurant and kitchen equipment all remain in the building.

Marinello and a partner acquired the property in 1976, six years after a previous restaurant with the same name had been destroyed in a fire. There has been a lodging or restaurant on the site since the late 19th century.