Sunderland’s Dove’s Nest closes

  • Dove’s Nest Restaurant on Route 116 in Sunderland. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Dove's Nest Restaurant on Route 116 in Sunderland. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

  • Dove's Nest Restaurant on Route 116 in Sunderland. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

Recorder Staff
Friday, December 22, 2017

SUNDERLAND — As snowflakes drifted onto slick blacktop outside Dove’s Nest Restaurant Friday afternoon, owner Nancy Capen cleaned tables inside one last time.

Unless a new owner takes over, the restaurant’s last day was Friday.

“It’s time,” Capen said, pausing from wiping a table to reminisce over the nine years she managed the Route 116 restaurant.

Dove’s Nest Restaurant has been a staple in Sunderland’s bedroom community since the 1970s, according to Gary Houle, who described himself as a “silent partner” in the business.

It will be missed by many, like Paul Sorrentino, a South Deerfield resident who said he “looked forward” to “breakfast dates” there with his wife, Karen.

“The Dove’s Nest has been the ‘Cheers’ of Sunderland and the area. The staff was always friendly and they usually knew your name and what you wanted to eat. They also had the best poached eggs in the valley,” Sorrentino said. “They helped us survive our boys’ adolescence, as I would bring each of them there once a week.”

A sign stuck against an outside window announced Capen’s intentions. And less than an hour after closing the 980-square-foot interior already showed signs of abandonment. Lights were switched off, tables pushed together, salt and pepper shakers gathered into one place.

“I’ve met wonderful people, made great friends. I’ll miss them all. It’s been a great run for me,” Capen continued.

Earlier this year, Capen, originally from Amherst, sold her Whately home and purchased another about an hour and a half away in Connecticut.

She’s leaving to be closer to family, which includes six grandchildren. And having been the restaurant’s primary manager for nearly a decade, the transition also means much needed rest. Looking ahead, Capen has “no plans yet. I’m going to take some time off and figure that out.”

Capen said business is still good because of a strong customer base. Dove’s Nest Restaurant has been on the market for more than a year and has received some interest from potential buyers but nothing that’s panned out. That being said, there’s still a chance for its legacy to continue.

Cleaning will begin in earnest on Jan. 15, and buyers have until Jan. 30 to make an offer before everything inside is sold.

After that, the space might be converted into something else.

Ideally, Capen said selling the business “would be great, especially for all of the loyal local customers who’ve kept the doors open.”

“Hopefully, whoever takes it on after me will take (Dove’s Nest) over, because locals need that,” Capen said.

You can reach Andy Castillo
at: acastillo@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 263
On Twitter: @AndyCCastillo