Sweetheart is sold: Shelburne group purchases iconic former restaurant

Last modified: 11/16/2015 9:49:56 AM
SHELBURNE FALLS — The village’s iconic former Sweetheart Restaurant has changed hands again.

A group calling itself Sweetheart Realty LLC now owns the white building at the entrance to Shelburne Falls at the corner of Route 2 and South Maple Street. It was sold for $220,000 by the estate of Mauricia Alvarez, who died about eight months after purchasing the long-empty building.

According to real estate agent Philip Pless, the sale went through on Monday. The 10,000-square-foot building comes with three acres, including the parking lot across the road on South Maple Street, which can hold about 21 vehicles.

The Secretary of State’s Office lists Shelburne Falls attorney Kevin D. Parsons as the “resident agent” on the incorporation papers, and it also names Joseph S. Rae, at 2231 Route 2, as another member of the corporation.

The given address is for J.S. Rae, general contractors, which specializes in directional drilling, excavation, pipelines, trenchless technologies, trucking, welding, industrial piping and plastic fusion, according to its website.

Neither Parsons nor Rae could not be reached for comment late Wednesday afternoon.

The Sweetheart Restaurant building was built in 1914 and many consider it the gateway to Shelburne Falls.

After the scenic Mohawk Trail highway was built and began attracting tourists, Alice Brown thought motorists would be interested in local maple sugar if it was attractively marketed. She poured maple sugar into heart-shaped molds and named the candy “Maple Sweethearts,” according to “The History and Tradition of Shelburne, Massachusetts.” The maple hearts went on sale in 1916 and were a roadside treat. Later, seating and more foods were added to the menu of what became the “Sweetheart Tea House.” The building grew in size as its public popularity grew, reaching its peak in the 1930s.

In 2005, the landmark restaurant at 42 South Maple St. was purchased by three women for $320,000. They had planned to turn it into an inn with eight rooms, along with a tea and tap room. But their investment plans fell through, and after the building didn’t sell, it was put up for auction.

Mauricia Alvarez, who died on Feb. 27, bought the building for about $249,000 during the summer of 2014, intending to turn it into a performing arts and learning center. Alvarez made some improvements to the building, which included new windows, mini-laminated beams on the second floor, some new walls and structural supports.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbroncaccio@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277




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