The Mountain Times

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Killington landmark restaurant gets new owner

Grist Mill property to be purchased by Killington business owner Chris Karr

The landmark building in Killington that has been home to the Grist Mill Restaurant since 1985 is changing hands and will reopen under new management this November.

Killington businessman Chris Karr has entered into an agreement with the owners of the Grist Mill Restaurant to purchase the business and the building, and plans to reopen as a new, re-branded destination dining experience in time for the 2012-2013 ski season. Karr also owns the Pickle Barrel Nightclub, JAX Food and Games and Scrub-a-Dub Pub on the Killington Road.

The new business will be called The Foundry at Summit Pond, and Karr's plans include interior renovations, a reinvented menu, the return of ice skating and other exterior enhancements, and a new caliber of entertainment.

"Speaking for both myself and my wife Melissa, we are very excited about having the opportunity to tap into the incredible potential of this stunning property," says Karr. "Our management team is looking forward to bringing some new ideas to the business, plus re-introducing some classic activities."

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, Pickle Barrel passes, and local yokel passes. 

The building was constructed in 1985 by Dan Graham for original owners David Gouchberg and Ken Budzyna.  The Grist Mill has a rich history with locals and with the ski house crowd as the establishment that originated and popularized the "Goombay Smash" cocktail. Over the years it hosted many popular events, including the Green Mountain Road Race and the Killington Tricycle Race.  Its central location on the Killington Road, exceptional views of Killington Peak, and sunset vistas from the porch overlooking Summit Pond have made it a favorite gathering spot.

"We looked long and hard for the right person to acquire the property," says property owner Bill Bauer. "We wanted someone with the vision and the means to elevate the business into a resort destination. Chris Karr understands the unique character of this property, and has a long track record of innovation and success with his businesses. This is a great thing for Killington."